When to Close the Manufacturing Skills Gap

Elena Garuc FuzeHub Blog, Must Read Slider 0 Comments

Written by: Steve Melito, Industry Blog Writer for FuzeHub

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Image Credit: MIT Technology Review

American manufacturing has a skills gap, but experts disagree about its size and severity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 300,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in June 2014. By 2020, The Boston Consulting Group warns that U.S. manufacturers could face a shortfall of 875,000 highly skilled industrial workers. Today, approximately 10% of American workers are employed in manufacturing.

For Paul Osterman, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the “manufacturing skills gap” exists, but is not as widespread as it might seem. Professor Osterman, a contributor to the 2013 MIT’s Production in the Innovation Economy study, asserts that many of the specialized jobs that U.S. manufacturers struggle to fill involve conventional manufacturing tasks instead of cutting-edge technologies.

Indeed, as a recent article in the MIT Technology Review reports, the five hardest manufacturing jobs to fill across the U.S. are machinist, electronics assembler, mechanical engineering technician, welder, and CNC machine tool operator. Technologies like robotics and 3D printing are driving innovation and capturing headlines, but balancing today’s needs with tomorrow’s workforce requirements is no less important.

In New York, bridging this gap is helping the Buffalo region to fill today’s jobs and build for the future. Last June, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Advanced Manufacturing Early College Program, part of the Buffalo Billion initiative. In conjunction with the SUNY College of Technology at Alfred, Buffalo’s Burgard High School will train students in high-demand skills such as welding and machine tool technology.

Read Original Story: The Hunt for Qualified Workers

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