Becoming an employer of choice

Use every channel available to find, train your workforce


Courtesy: Snap-on IndustrialThe numbers are well-known to anyone looking at the workforce shortage in manufacturing:

  • There are an estimated 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Even if that number is overstated by half, filling those jobs would have an impact on both unemployment rates and domestic output.
  • A 2011 study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute found 67% of respondents reporting a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers, while 56% said they anticipated the shortage to grow worse over a five-year period.
  • The study also found manufacturers were unable to fill 600,000 jobs, with nearly 75% noting the biggest shortage fell in the realm of skilled production jobs – including welders and operators.
  • The 2012 Plant Engineering Salary Survey found the number one issue facing plant managers is the lack of a skilled workforce. It marks the eighth straight year the issue has topped the list.

Numbers, of course, are not people. It will take more than putting out a ‘Help Wanted’ shingle on the front door to attract the workers needed for manufacturing’s continued growth in the U.S. It will require an aggressive, diverse and comprehensive approach to the problem to move the needle on workforce development, and a new approach with a new generation of workers.

The good news is that the tide has turned in the popular media. No longer seen solely as a dirty and monotonous job, modern manufacturing is increasingly portrayed as skilled work done by valued people in a clean, safe and goal-driven environment. Manufacturing as an occupation is now seen as vital to our national interest and, given the issues in Europe and China, a newly-minted world leader. The reality is that it always has been so; it is the perception of manufacturing has gained new importance.

So there has never been a better time to tout manufacturing as a career choice to the next generation of workers. How do you become an employer of choice in this emerging manufacturing renaissance? Five experts from five different areas of our business took an exclusive look at this issue for Plant Engineering in the links provided below.

Beatrice , , 09/23/13 02:53 PM:

Womem should be given more opportunity to lead when it comes manufacturing most often in the industries they are kept in background, feeling they do not have the potentials to lead, they should be only followers and that's wrong
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
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A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

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