How Long-Term Unemployed Persons Can Start a Career in Manufacturing

sprocket machiningUnemployment is an unfortunate circumstance. When the economy got tough a few years ago, hundreds of thousands of people suddenly found themselves without work. And while many have recovered, some people are still looking for jobs. Others have lost their jobs more recently and found themselves in a similar situation.

Unemployment can also be very frustrating. It’s possible to turn in dozens or hundreds of job applications and still seem like you’re stuck in the same place. And while there’s not much we can do to change the past, the manufacturing industry has a lot to offer now and in the future for those who currently find themselves unemployed.

As we’ve talked about before here on our blog, manufacturing has what’s called a skills gap: there’s a shortage of skilled workers for the jobs currently open in the industry. Current estimates show that there are about 600,000 open jobs in manufacturing. The industry on the whole is just waiting for the right people to come along and fill those empty positions.

Of course, it’s not always as simple as filling out a job application and hoping for the best. Here are some clear steps we recommend taking if you’re unemployed and looking to get a start in manufacturing:

  • Look for manufacturers local to you: You might be surprised to learn how many manufacturing companies there are here in Nebraska. We’ve featured many of them on our blog, and searches like “manufacturing in Omaha” or “precision machining companies in Norfolk” can help you easily find companies local to you.
  • Assess your interests: To know where you may fit into manufacturing (there are a lot of options!), we recommend assessing your interests and skills. Do you enjoy working with your hands? Programming computers? Building things? Once you know what you’re interested in, you can look at the many different specializations and career options in manufacturing and decide which path you want to take.
  • Research local educational institutions: The next step will be developing and learning skills if you don’t have them already. There are many educational institutions (trade schools, community colleges, four-year colleges, and more) in Nebraska that can help you do just that. Our blog’s education section features many of these facilities if you’re interested in learning more.
  • Find open jobs: Now, you’ll want to take a moment and search open jobs. (We have an entire site page dedicated to this.) In your search, you’ll likely run into some of the local manufacturers you researched earlier. Find manufacturers with open jobs and save their information for the next step.
  • Contact manufacturers about work sponsorship programs: Did you know that many manufacturers offer educational sponsorship programs? They will pay for your education and often allow you to work part-time while you go to school, in exchange for working for their company for a specified amount of time. Two years is average here. These sponsorship programs can allow you to get educated and land a job with very little or no student debt, and are more common than you think. Even if the manufacturer you’re interested in doesn’t offer such a program, they’ll often have recommendations for you about how to get started.
  • Stay persistent: This can be tough, but persistence is key. If you don’t hear from a company, follow up with them until you do. We don’t think you should have much of a problem with this, but it is something to be aware of.

If you have any questions about how you can get started, don’t be afraid to reach out to us via our site’s Contact Us page. You can also use our “Contact a Manufacturer” form to find manufacturers who would be willing and able to help you out! The manufacturing industry is ripe with companies looking for hard-working people with the right skills, and as we mentioned here, many of those companies will help train you with the right skills to make sure you get a good start.

There are lots of opportunities for employment in manufacturing. And with the right approach, you could land one of the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs open in the country today.

photo credit: Peter Ras via photopin cc