Future of Manufacturing- Age and Education Impacts

June 13, 2012

The competitiveness of Manufacturing in North America has helped it to lead the recovery out of the last recession.

What are the trends that we face in Manufacturing going forward?

” I see two graphs that will determine the success of manufacturing.”

Up-Skilling

The following graph shows that since 2007, manufacturers have added more educated workers while eliminating less skilled / less educated positions:

Word to potential workers: Skills not labor to work in Manufacturing.

Increasingly employers are looking for credentials for skills rather than 2 and 4 year degrees.

Right Skills Now is one way for math capable candidates to get their start in a career in advanced manufacturing in CNC operations.

RSN curriculum

Demand for skilled workers “blues”:

The blue bar segments in the following graph shows us that as the baby boomer cohort leave the workforce, there are currently not enough under 25  and 25- 34 year olds to make up for their loss. This means that  not only will productivity increases have to continue, but also that we need to really make an effort to bring 34 and under people into our skilled workforce in manufacturing. This will certainly be a challenge for employers, and if nothing is done, will mean a new management version of  the  No Job Blues–  “the no skilled worker blues” – for our shops as we try to find candidates for open positions left by the departing boomers.

If you are a savvy shop, you are working on this issue today- if the average age of our manufacturing workers is 50, that means over half of our workforce are within a few short years of retirement.

What’s your plan for workforce and skill development in your shop, city, region and state?

How’s it working out for you?

Graphs : U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration, Mark Doms Chief Economist

Crystal Ball


Why Manufacturing is the Right Career Choice- Data!

May 2, 2012

Is now the right time for you to start your career in U.S. Manufacturing?

The phrase "get in on the ground floor" comes to mind...

I found this chart on Global Macro Monitor Blog on WordPress.  They look at it for their purposes. Lets look at it for ours.

I started my manufacturing career in September 1973, near the bottom of the “Nixon Decline.” It wasn’t easy- I had plenty of layoffs- but there was plenty of upside and I went from laborer in a sintering plant through a series of jobs to become, senior plant metallurgist, quality director, plant manager, division director for quality and technology.

Being in the right place at the right time (manufacturing) from 1973 to 1977  allowed me to take advantage of the upside in manufacturing that  gave me the momentum to grow my career.

Looking at the chart above, 2012 looks like the exact same opportunity, only better.

Global Macro Monitor lists some of the factors which influenced the chart above:

  1. Strengthening of the dollar during the 1980′s;
  2. Globalization;
  3. Entry of China and India into the global labor force;
  4. The internet;
  5. Improved productivity; 
  6. Technological innovation; 
  7. Demographics and worker preferences;
  8. All of the above.

I speak and meet with precision machining company managers and owners daily.

All are looking for people with skills and talent.

All are investing in training for their proven performers.

Our National Technical Conference last week  had over 102 first time attendees.

Twice as many companies offerred internships as there were  students in our first Right Skills Now class.

A comment I received yesterday on Linked In: “I teach Precision Machining and our students are all getting jobs now and the starting pay is getting better… ”

These are some very strong indicators that now is a great time to start a career in manufacturing.

 If you can do the math and solve problems based on your experiences, we’d love to have you in our precision machining industry.

P.S. And even though I characterized it as the “Nixon Decline,” I am not at all holding any president responsible for these.

There are far more important factors at play in this chart than whether or not there is a Donkey or an Elephant in the oval office.

Chart