Skilled worker shortage ‘acute’, NAM report finds

By Plant Engineering Staff December 1, 2005

The serious shortage of qualified employees that a vast majority of U.S. manufacturers are now experiencing is taking an increasingly negative toll on America’s ability to compete in the global economy, according to a survey report released today by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“The survey exposes a widening gap between the dwindling supply of skilled workers in America and the growing technical demands of the modern manufacturing workplace,” explained NAM President John Engler.

ortage of qualified skilled production employees including machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors and technicians. Engineers and scientists are also in short supply, with 65% of respondents reporting current deficiencies.

“Manufacturers face the additional challenge of poor skill levels among

“The talent shortage is not a theoretical or distant problem %%MDASSML%% 83% of respondents indicated these shortages are currently affecting their ability to meet customer demands, with more than half reporting difficulty achieving necessary production levels and 43 percent reporting difficulties increasing productivity,” Kleinert said.

“We need a bold agenda of shared responsibility between government, business and educators to increase the priority given to human capital,” Engler said, “while improving the quality and performance of our education and training system.

The 2005 Skills Gap Report is based on responses from more than 800 manufacturers of all sizes nationwide and is the first new comprehensive survey about the American manufacturing workforce in four years. www.nam.org/2005skillsgap .