Millennials to the Manufacturing Industry

The Manufacturing Skills Gap

Since the downturn in the manufacturing industry last decade, there has been a huge upswing. Re-shoring US operations, introducing new manufacturing technology, and a growing demand for products and services rooted in manufacturing have all meant a major increase in workforce needs. But that demand simply isn’t being met.

The cold truth is that there’s a reported 3.5 million manufacturing jobs to be filled over the next decade, but according to studies, a massive 2 million of those will remain empty as talent only gets harder to find. Why the gap? Chief among the handful of contributing factors is the retirement of Baby Boomers. Some studies show that a massive 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring each day, presenting many companies with a major workforce gap.

This challenge only gets greater when you consider that Millennials simply aren’t motivated to fill those positions that Baby Boomers are leaving open. A recent Deloitte survey shows that Millennials rank manufacturing as their least favorite career path; a huge 61% view it as dirty and dangerous. Very few parents encourage their children to start learning the skills needs to fill the gap, even though the average salary for skilled manufacturing positions is well above the national average, at $79,553.

Attracting Millennials to the Manufacturing Industry

The aforementioned Deloitte study reports that 52% of teenagers aren’t interesting in pursuing manufacturing as a career. So how do we change their minds and attract them to the industry to fill that growing manufacturing skills gap?

The reality is, of course, that there’s no easy overnight solution. For example, skilled manufacturing wages are already high, so increased salary by itself isn’t going to attract Millennials to the manufacturing industry.

Instead, many experts believe it’s going to take a focused effort that combines both a renewed educational infrastructure focused on STEM skills and renewed employer branding on the part of individual manufacturing companies. Additionally, the industry as a whole has seen an increase in associations and publications that can assist in driving these initiatives.

Let’s look more deeply at the education factor. Over the years, many unskilled or semi-skilled manufacturing positions have been automated while an influx of high-tech tools, like 3D printing, advanced analytics and robotics, have been implemented. This means the highest demand in manufacturing employment is in the skills that can be taught in post-secondary institutions, and in some cases even high school. Therefore, partnering with high schools, community colleges and other local schools to get students excited about the future of manufacturing should be a solid strategy in attracting Millennials to the manufacturing industry and proving that it’s a viable career path.

Employer branding is equally important. Many Millennials aren’t looking for “just another job” to pay the bills and work towards retirement. They want an opportunity for personal development, to make impactful decisions, and to make a difference in the world they live in. That sounds like a big ask, but in the manufacturing world, there are plenty of career paths that can fulfill these desires. The vital part of the equation, then, is to make sure these young adults know what a career in the manufacturing industry can offer. That’s where employer branding comes in.

It’s going to take a collaborative approach and close communication between marketing, HR and director-level management to nail down strong campaigns that align with an organization’s business drivers and hiring initiatives. Millennials are often looking for a team-oriented work environment with a high priority on collaboration and innovation. If that’s something your company can deliver, you should be yelling it from the mountaintops. Manufacturers need a fresh new look when it comes to branding, and this is the only way to capture the attention of the Millennials they so badly need.

Getting the Help of a Manufacturing Recruiting Firm

The National Association of Manufacturers reports that manufacturing workers are working 2.5 times harder than they were three decades ago. That’s huge growth, but when vacancies are sitting open due to a lack of Millennial talent, that represents a massive loss in production. Plus, it takes an average of 70 days to fill those vacancies – more than two months of lost production. If these statistics are all too real to you, then you need to turn to JDP Search for help. We work closely with clients to attract the right talent. We can’t wait to learn more about your needs.

Career in Tire Industry

I think my real fascination began when I needed to purchase a set of tires for my Land Rover LR4. I went off-roading once and hoped to do it again so I wanted tires that would support that kind of activity while lasting a long time with typical over the road traveling. The Land Rover weighs close to 2 tons so that is a lot of pressure on the tire. I had purchased a set of inexpensive tires previously for the Land Rover and they didn’t even last 10 months! This time I wanted the tires to last, even if I had to pay more. My family used to own and operate a tire store for 45 years where my brother was the salesman for many of those years. For my new set of tires my brother explained to me what treads would grip the road better and what type of tire had better rubber allowing the tire to last longer. The more expensive tires only cost me an additional $200 for the set and were a world of difference for performance and durability. I was hooked! My brother proved how invaluable a knowledgeable salesperson can be.

ITEC proved to be the honey-hole for all that the tire world has drawn me into. This convention educated the engineers on rubber, plastics, molding, chemicals, machinery and everything an engineer of all walks would need to know about the making of a tire from A to Z. I visited every booth, asked questions, soaked up a lot of information and picked up some cool pens and tire swag along the way.

If you’re like me, you would think that the majority, if not all, the tires are manufactured somewhere in the Midwestern region of the USA. Actually, of the top 50 tire manufacturers, only 3 are headquartered in the USA: Goodyear, Cooper and Carlstar Group, which is a producer for specialty tires for agriculture and construction. 18 (35%) of the top 50 are headquartered in China. A few of the other top producers of tires are headquartered in Italy, Germany, Japan, Russia, Canada and India. Tire operations for the USA are mostly planted in the Southern and Midwestern states. Bridgestone, Carlstar, Continental, Cooper, Goodyear and Michelin produce the majority of their auto and light truck tires in states like Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma and Alabama. In the USA the top producers of racing tires are Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. and Goodyear.

Jobs for Fresh Graduates

There are many jobs that are willing to take in fresh graduates. These jobs may not be very well paying but they give you an entry into the industry and make it easy for you to grow from here. So, here is a look at your options:

  • Sales executive: For many organisations, the buying-selling process is constantly on. You can easily get absorbed as a sales executive. Mind you, this is just the entry level option. Work hard and a sales job can really take you places.
  • Programmer: If you have little knowledge about computers, do a programing course and you will be surprised at the way in which your opportunities can multiply. What’s more is that applying to such jobs does not require too much experience.
  • Content Developer: Companies are in dire need of content developers. Those who are well versed with the nuances of developing engaging content and using it as a marketing tool can get a good job in this category.
  • Transcriptionist: Another good option for fresh graduates who want to make a quick buck is to take up the job of medical transcription. While, we would not advise you to look at it as a permanent venture, working as a transcriptionist can help you manage your finances.
  • Translator: Most nations are multi-lingual and so the need to translate marketing collateral into various languages will always exist. Translators can apply for well-paying jobs in government offices. Some of these jobs can be completed with a work from home set-up.
  • Web developer: There are many jobs in this category and for those who have the creative instinct, working here can end up being a great money spinner.
  • Travel agent: Love travelling the globe, well make a career out of it. Don’t go for the usual booking and selling of tickets, you can venture into something more exciting. For example, customised vacation packages for employees of corporate companies.
  • Social media manager: Another popular option among job hunters, working as a social media manager is a good way to jumpstart your career in the domain of digital marketing.
  • Data entry: There are many companies offering data entry jobs across the globe and getting into one of them is not going to be difficult.
  • Call center: Call centers happily offer jobs to fresh graduates. These jobs are well paying and don’t require too much experience as well.