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The Agurban

#707 – Manufacturing Job Fulfillment Woes

Oct 9, 2018


Manufacturing Job Fulfillment Woes

With Manufacturing Day 2018 taking place last week, we are pleased with many of the reports we have seen in which manufacturers have opened their doors to welcome the public in to see their modern operations. As we know, there are many misconceptions about American manufacturing (Agurban #705). A recent survey from Leading2Lean, a provider of software focused on lean manufacturing principles, looked at some false assumptions that are negatively impacting job fulfillment with the industrial sector.

The survey research showed a number of interesting misconceptions, including:

  • 70% of Americans believe the American manufacturing industry is in decline. But according to ISM’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (through August), U.S. manufacturing has grown for 24 consecutive months.
  • 58% of people believe that the number of manufacturing jobs in America is declining. Again, according to ISM, manufacturing employment (through August) has grown for 23 consecutive months.
  • 71% indicated jobs being outsourced to countries outside the U.S. as the top reason for this decline. According to the Reshoring Initiative, more than 576,000 manufacturing jobs were brought back to the U.S. since 2010.

When asked about the gap between the perception of U.S. manufacturing and the realities of the sector, Leading2Lean President Keith Barr, stated, “Many people view manufacturing from the lens of decades past. The industry has evolved over time, adopting modern technology and processes, but has done so quietly. We believe the scale requirements and the type of work [have] also changed in the last decade or two. Manufacturing is generally a much higher tech and dynamic work environment than it used to be.”

Barr went on to say, “In addition to schools, nonprofits, and trade associations that are working on this issue, manufacturers need to be more involved corporate citizens in their communities. When I was a kid, I attended a factory tour, and what I saw stuck with me. Manufacturers can get involved by fostering field trips, intern programs at local trade schools, providing scholarships, and other ways to get the community more exposed to the current opportunities.”

Our hope is that Manufacturing Day celebrations last week will lead more people to a career in manufacturing.

Leading2Lean survey link.