When I started working in manufacturing, while I had some interest in sectors, I originally thought industry was complicated, outdated, and somewhat dull — but I was quickly proven indisputably wrong.
Today, I know the truth — it is great to work in manufacturing. Unfortunately, many of my fellow millennials still have a negative perception about the industry, which makes it harder to recruit young talent and overcome the talent shortage. To change their minds, and to help you recruit and connect with millennials in your workforce, I wanted to share what I have learned, and what excites me most, about manufacturing.
Manufacturing Affects Everything We Do
The art of manufacturing started the day man learned how to use tools and it has continued throughout history. Today, behind every new advancement and innovation, you'll find the manufacturing sector had been there to make it a reality.
Manufacturing Has Always Been Ahead Of The Technology Curve
Why people think manufacturing is an outdated business will be beyond me. 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and robots have been impacting the supply chain for decades, and it’s the rest of the world that is just catching up. So imagine how things the industry is developing now, from materials to hardware, will affect the world in 50 years.
As an industry, manufacturing has always found a way to innovate and push technological boundaries, and our breakthroughs change the landscape for companies, countries and economies worldwide. It has become clear to me that if you want to know the trends of the future, you should start by taking a look at what the manufacturing industry is developing today.
Being “Made In America” Is A Real Possibility
Growing up, my parents lamented the death of American manufacturing. They were upset that over 90% of the products they bought were from overseas. But since I started working in supply chain, they have been delighted to hear about how hard North America is pushing to restore the business that once made it great.
Companies like Walmart have pledged to support American manufacturing, and the benefits of reshoring are impossible to ignore. There is still a long way to go, but the Made In America movement is real, impactful, and making a difference for many in North America.
Education Is Shaping The Future Of Supply Chain
Since the day I began working in manufacturing, I have heard people talk about the skills gap and talent shortage for industrial positions. But the amount of resources going into STEM initiatives will produce engineers in no time.
The resurgence of STEM toys are teaching children and adults alike, which will help build a foundation of future workers with the right skills and knowledge. In addition, there are ever-expanding career options, ranging from purchasing to product design to executives, which will allow more people, from more diverse career and educational backgrounds, to join the workforce.
Working In Manufacturing Is Increasingly Safe
Thanks to portrayals in movies and media, the industry has gained a reputation for being a dangerous profession to work in. However, in reality, today's manufacturing jobs are safer than ever before.
The development of new technology to ensure safety is at the forefront of this trend, as machines are assuming some of the more dangerous tasks that have previously been executed by people. No matter what your age or how you feel about robots or drones, all people who work in the supply chain can agree that taking a person out of harm's way is the best thing technology can do.
Manufacturing Has Educational Events
One of the most enjoyable memories of the past year was covering Manufacturing Day 2015. I got to watch everyone demonstrate their capabilities and celebrate the industry.
Manufacturing Is Constantly Changing For The Better
The industry is changing, there’s no denying that. Some call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution; some call it the nature of business. Growth, job security, and technology are often at the forefront of our minds, and we will always worry about supply chain disruption. But as you can see, there is so much going for manufacturing and so many opportunities that have yet to be revealed.
This is one of the coolest spaces to be in right now, and it’s only going to get better from here. So the next time a millennial tells you that manufacturing isn't for them, I hope you share these revelations. They changed my perspective, and I'm confident they can change many others as well.
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