manufacturingEarlier this month, we discussed that, at the end of the day, manufacturing still matters to people; and, while their roles may be changing, people still matter to manufacturing. So why doesn’t it seem like that’s true?

The shortage of skilled candidates for modern manufacturing jobs indicates that there is a problem in convincing Americans that they should be pursuing careers in manufacturing. Does this indicate that the industry has a problem convincing people of its attractiveness?

According to a study by Deloitte, the vast majority of Americans (eight out of 10) believe that U.S. manufacturing is vital to maintaining prosperity. Unfortunately, less than five in 10 Americans believe that manufacturing jobs are interesting, rewarding, clean, safe, stable, and secure. Fewer than three in 10 Americans would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.

On the other hand, Americans believe that the manufacturing jobs in the future will require high-tech skills (88%), be clean and safe (81%), and more innovative (77%). Manufacturing leaders need to take notice: There seems to still be a belief that future manufacturing is different and important to the global economy.

Improve the Perception of Manufacturing

Manufacturers need to understand that they are competing for skilled talent with multinational companies from other industries, as well as the Silicon Valley giants. Changing the images of their companies—representing the Industry 4.0 expert modern manufacturer, a pathway to a career with the future factory where robotics and data analytics play a big role—will better attract the newer employee. Through recruiting a new generation of skilled talent, companies can create a virtuous circle, encouraging more talent to believe modern manufacturing can be their future.

Manufacturing leaders can help build that exciting, modern future by committing to:

  1. Invest in skill development

Putting money in skill development such as internships and apprenticeships could convince more students that a career with manufacturing is a clear pathway to a successful, well-paid career. The industry has good benefits, pay, and can be very satisfying, but manufacturers have a role to play in making sure people understand that this is the case and making their company more attractive than the in-vogue tech firm.

  1. Raise awareness about manufacturing careers

There is still clearly a significant perception problem about the current state of manufacturing and a need to dispel false impressions. If manufacturers opened their doors and showed off what modern working life and conditions were like, young people would better understand that manufacturing isn’t unskilled assembly lines and unsafe conditions anymore.

  1. Tap into pro-manufacturing groups

An older demographic has a better view of manufacturing than young people—manufacturers need to tap into this group and use them for recruitment and ambassadors of the brand. They also need to take advantage of the positive role that Americans feel manufacturing has for the future of the global economy.

Increase awareness about high-tech technology and cutting-edge innovation

Modern manufacturers are winning with industry 4.0 and technology like data analytics and the Internet of Things, but does the wider world know this? It’s time to make sure that the manufacturing industry is just as technologically innovative. The incoming working generation is increasingly more technologically innovative. They need to see this in manufacturing.

Cloud ERP and Mobile Solutions from ASI

Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) can play a role in upgrading your systems to attract and retain the right employees. Cloud ERP such as Acumatica, and mobile solutions for Sage 100 also provide the flexibility to grow with your company. For more information, click here or call us at 803-252-6154