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Steps to Grow US Manufacturing
The US manufacturing sector has been in a state of transition for a number of years now. More and more, companies are feeling the effects of an aging and retiring workforce with limited talent available to fill the gaps. While this trend presents an obvious challenge for the industrial world, there are also many opportunities to change things around.
Supporting STEM Education
Many communities are aware of the current skills gap and are partnering schools with companies to teach students about manufacturing. Programs often include plant tours, demonstrations, and question-and-answer sessions to show students what these careers really entail.
In the classroom, curriculums are also expanding to include more technical coursework that can be applied to industrial careers.
Providing Vocational Training and Apprenticeships
As students graduate from high school and consider their next steps, apprenticeships are an invaluable tool in preparing them for careers in manufacturing. This type of training benefits both students and companies. Apprenticeships are paid learning opportunities, which has obvious advantages over a traditional college education. Rather than take on debt, they are able to earn an income while gaining a skill. For manufacturers, it’s a new pool of talent that will be ready to enter the field upon completion.
Cross-Training Current Employees
For smaller manufacturers, the loss of even one employee can bring operations to a halt. For this reason, it’s recommended that employees learn multiple skills. If one person retires or is sick, another will be able to fill in their role in the meantime until a replacement is found.
You may even find that workers enjoy different tasks better than the jobs they were originally hired for. Cross training presents a number of opportunities for manufacturers and staff members.
Prioritizing US Suppliers
If we want to support US manufacturing, we need to support US manufacturers. This might mean re-evaluating your own supply chain to prioritize local service providers. Walmart has already adjusted their strategy by upping their investment in locally sourced goods. This is a huge step in the right direction, but we all have to maintain that momentum.
By finding ways to build awareness among young people, train the next generation of workers, encourage flexibility in employees, and support other US manufacturers, we can all grow the industrial sector. It’s a multi-pronged approach, but it’s necessary to expand our current market.
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Tags: Careers in Manufacturing, Growing US Manufacturing, Manufacturing Cross Training, Steps to Grow US Manufacturing, Supporting US Manufacturers, US Manufacturing Sector, Vocational Training and Apprenticeships