While many have historically turned to Asian manufacturers for low-cost manufacturing solutions, an article in Manufacturing Global magazine says the US is making great strides in technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, and automation, which sees it set to dominate the industry. Unfortunately, there is one thing standing in the way – finding a suitably highly-skilled workforce.
According to the article: More and more, manufacturing roles require very specific technical knowledge and experience that can only be gained through classroom and on-the-job, hands-on training. As the population ages, many traditional workers with the mechanical skills (who may or may not have recently added technical skills to their skill set) are starting to retire or will retire soon. At the same time, in recent generations, not as many students have been focused on STEM fields, and those high-school graduates that did, tended to pursue two and four-year college degrees as opposed to vocational studies. This has lead experienced workers leaving the manufacturing industry due to retirement, and fewer young people stepping in to considering manufacturing as a viable choice for their careers. Therein lies the “skills gap” in the manufacturing industry today.
Read the full article here.