Skilled Labor Shortage in Manufacturing

In today’s economy, employers in most business sectors generally can find enough skilled workers.  However, as the manufacturing industry continues to recover from the recession, there are some shortages of skilled workers, such as machinists, especially for manufacturers in rural Minnesota.

 The skills gap is not just a Minnesota concern.   In 2011, The Manufacturing Institute released a report from their survey of U.S. manufacturers. In their report titled “Boiling Point? The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing,” the writers noted:

  • 67% of respondents reported a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers
  •  56% expected worse shortages over the next 3 to 5 years
  •  5% of current jobs at responding manufacturers remain unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates
  • 74% of respondents indicated that workforce shortages or skills deficiencies in skilled production roles are having a significant impact on their ability to expand operations or improve  productivity

 Although the lack of experienced laborers presents a challenge for manufacturers, there are some initiatives that can improve this situation, such as:

  • Retention – ensure that you are offering pay that is market competitive to attract high quality employees
  • Strategic partnerships – collaborate with schools to attract and develop the pool of qualified workers
  • Look internally – offer on the job training to new employees that display an ability and desire to learn
  • Hiring – broaden the pool of candidates that you may consider for employment

Contact Jim Ripple at 952-829-3409 or with questions or click here to read more about Olsen Thielen’s manufacturing expertise.

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