The Problem With Manufacturing

The Problem With Manufacturing

Two posts in, you already know that we’re here to put a new face on manufacturing in the Midwest. And with that being the case, you’re probably wondering: why are these folks already talking about the problem with manufacturing?

The answer is a little different than you might think.

The problem isn’t long hours, or intensive work, or a tough environment–those things are all starting to change as manufacturing continues to get more technical. No, the problem is none of these things: it’s the lack of skilled workers needed to fill positions.

Reports from late last year estimate that as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs are currently open in the United States. Think about that for a second. 600,000 open jobs, with no one to fill them. That’s an incredible amount of open jobs, and not a lot is being done to fill them.

The problem, then, is twofold: on the one hand, there are an incredible number of open manufacturing jobs in the United States–jobs that pay well and don’t require incurring massive amounts of student loan debt in order to get them. And on the other hand, much of the United States population, educators included, aren’t doing much to combat the problem. That leaves manufacturers in a tight spot, as open jobs means bad business, and leaves students and their parents unaware of the massive potential that lies in the industry.

Compared to other countries like China, which do a lot to encourage students to take skilled technical positions in the manufacturing industry, the United States doesn’t do much–and that’s a problem. All 600,000 of these jobs hold enormous potential for the future of the economy, but most people aren’t even aware of the problem.

The problem with manufacturing, then, doesn’t lie within the industry itself; rather, it lies in the hands of those outside the industry, many of whom are unaware of these open jobs lying in wait for anyone to come around and fill them.

And as far as what that means for us? Well, it ought to be clearer now why we’re doing what we’re doing: over half a million manufacturing jobs out there are waiting for the right people to come along. These jobs don’t require massive amounts of student loan debt, and can often be the kickstarter of a long and successful manufacturing career.

So what’re you waiting for? Check out a few of these great resources on the skills needed to fill these jobs, because with the right focus, before you know it, you, your child, or someone you know could be well on their way to great careers without the burden of student debt.

photo credit: ro_buk [I’m not there] via photopin cc