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Bringing Manufacturing Back To The U.S.: A Discussion With Thomas CEO Tony Uphoff

Manufacturing is essential to the American economy. Every 100 jobs in a manufacturing facility creates 250 jobs in other sectors. Unfortunately, however, many of these manufacturing jobs – as many as two million according to estimates – will go unfilled over the next ten years.

To combat the problem and close the skills gap, the federal government is investing in apprenticeship programs. 

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Three Ways You Can Help Close The Skills Gap

Manufacturing is one of the main contributors to economic growth in the U.S. and Americans know its value. In fact, 83% of Americans believe manufacturing is important to America’s prosperity. Unfortunately, young professionals are currently less interested in the manufacturing industry. 

According to Deloitte, two million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled in the next 10 years. This shortage will in turn create a void for many manufacturers as they struggle to find people with the right skills to keep their businesses alive.

So what can shop owners do to close the skills gap? Below are three ways to help:

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The Training Manufacturers Need To Keep Their Skills Up To Date


Studies show that a well-trained staff is more productive and engaged. However, organizations tend to push training to the side when other pressing issues occur on the shop floor. So what can manufacturers do to ensure their employees receive the training necessary to maximize productivity and employee retention? 

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Do College Grads Have The Right Degrees For Today's Manufacturing Workforce?

The manufacturing industry is growing increasingly complex. As a result, entry-level manufacturing employees need more than just a high school diploma. However, there is a disconnect between the educational levels of those applying for manufacturing jobs and the educational levels required by employees. 

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Can Worker Training Programs Solve The Skills Gap In Manufacturing?

The skills gap is a major roadblock to the growth of the manufacturing industry. While training programs could be the solution, they raise the question of who should be leading the training initiatives and who should be paying for them.

The U.S. government has the money to put into manufacturing training programs but doesn’t have the expertise to train workers. On the other hand, manufacturing companies have the expertise to teach new students but don't have the funding necessary to launch these programs.

A new approach, introduced by the Aspen Institute, might be able to bridge the gap.

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