October 15, 2019

Looking for manufacturing talent? Start thinking outside the box

The skills gap is increasing – you need to invest now to find (and create!) talent.

You know manufacturing has a branding problem. Somewhere in the excitement of rolling out new Industry 4.0 technologies, we may have also forgotten about the people. But the combined impact of mass baby boomer retirement, the branding problem, our outdated approach to workforce management, and the evolution of in-demand skills is creating a massive gap between open jobs and interested candidates.

Did you know that the industry as a whole has several initiatives in place to close that gap? If you are like your manufacturing peers – having a tough time finding the talent – you need to take advantage of these initiatives. They will help you tap into talent in underutilized areas and even to create the talent you need.

Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY)

Each October, manufacturers around the country open their doors and invite people inside their facilities to showcase the industry and their companies. MFG DAY helps correct the common misconceptions and engage with younger generations directly where they can see and touch the technologies that make things. Exposure is key, because once they see what lies beyond their preconceived notions, they get interested. MFG DAY is produced annually by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). You can host an event and partner with your local community. Show off your company!

Women in Manufacturing (STEP Initiative)

The Manufacturing Institute (part of NAM) launched the Science Technology Engineering Production initiative to support women working in these fields, and to inspire more to join. Women represent one of the largest pools of untapped talent – in 2016, they made up 47% of the U.S. labor force, but only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. Celebrate your talented women by nominating them for STEP awards, host a STEP networking event, and make the STEP Pledge – a commitment to advance women in manufacturing, encourage a diverse workforce, and commit to promoting manufacturing careers to women.

Heroes MAKE America

Another under-tapped talent pool is the 200,000+ veterans who return to civilian life each year. Experienced with working in teams and having a strong work ethic, military veterans also have extensive technical training as well. In short, an ideal candidate for manufacturing. Heroes MAKE America is an initiative to create a pipeline between the military and manufacturing for both the veteran and even their spouses as well. It offers accelerated training and certifications. Take advantage and reach out today.

Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME)

If you can’t find the workforce you need, you can create it. FAME offers many education options including the very popular and rigorous Advanced Manufacturing Technician program, which starts with engagement with K-12 education and continues with a 2-year associate degree. Originally created by Toyota at their North American Production Support Center in Kentucky, FAME has expanded to many manufacturers and has recently been rolled under the Manufacturing Institute. FAME programs will create the talent you need.

Ceridian is an active supporter of all these initiatives through membership in the National Association of Manufacturers and sees these as sharing our core goal to Make Work Life Better.

Danny Smith

Danny Smith is Principal, Manufacturing Industry Advisory at Ceridian, and serves on the Manufacturing Leadership Council. Danny is responsible for deepening Ceridian’s penetration in the sector, working with key customers and prospects to understand their challenges and bring forward strategic solutions to address them. Danny holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Decision Sciences from Georgia State University.

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