Why Good Factory Jobs Go Wanting in U.S.

Why Good Factory Jobs Go Wanting in U.S.

Friday, August 18, 2017
The first installment in a new series of Associated Press articles on the Future of Work examined the conundrum of manufacturing in America in 2017.
 
Even while many jobs have been shipped overseas to lower-wage workers, U.S. manufacturers actually added a million jobs in the past seven years,the story notes. Yet nearly 400,000 of those jobs remain unfilled, and a forecast from Deloitte Consulting anticipates that 2 million factory jobs will need to be filled in the next 10 years.
 
But why do these jobs—like the 30,000 open ones in Ohio—go wanting? Because jobs in today's increasingly high-tech factories require more education and technical skills than those of previous generations. And workers don’t have those skills or access to the specialized training to acquire them.
 
The issue is something that employers, educators, and policymakers here in the Sarasota-Manatee region have already been hearing about—and acting on—for several years, thanks to CareerEdge Funders Collaborative. This workforce investment and business innovation initiative works with both employers and the workforce to close skills gaps in growing industry sectors, including manufacturing. CareerEdge has been ahead of the curve described in the AP article by commissioning research since 2012 on the manufacturing skills gap in our region and and then advocating for and collaborating to develop training opportunities to close it.
 
One tactic discussed in the piece, for example, is apprenticeships, a model that CareerEdge and its manufacturing partners have been working to provide and expand in our region. CareerEdge has also worked to expedite the certification process for certain jobs, so that employees can more quickly fill open positions and then get on-the-job training to move into higher-paying positions with the employer that invested in them.
 
To learn more about the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and its successful model for closing skills gaps in manufacturing and other sectors, go here.
 
To view indicators on the workforce in the Gulf Coast region, go here.