Tuesday, March 20, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing Labor Shortage: Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment

The future of American manufacturing looks good. On March 5, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected output growth for manufacturing for the decade 2010–2020 to be $1.36 trillion. U.S. manufacturers will need more and more skilled, specialized workers to fulfill this promise.

On March 9, the BLS reported that manufacturing employment rose by 31,000 in February 2012. The American manufacturing sector is being held back only by the critical shortage of skilled labor:
In an October 2011 survey of American manufacturers conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP, respondents reported that 5% of their jobs remained unfilled simply because they could not find workers with the right skills.

That 5% vacancy rate meant that an astounding 600,000 jobs were left unfilled during a period when national unemployment was above 9%.
—Thomas A. Hemphill and Mark J. Perry, "U.S. Manufacturing and the Skills Crisis", The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/2012
Today's skilled labor shortage is driving manufacturers to partner with educational institutions, industry organizations, and government agencies to train tomorrow's workforce.
Mark Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, sees the skilled worker shortage as an iceberg looming on an uneasy sea. "We're just approaching it; we haven't hit it yet but we know it's there," he says. "People are starting to see it."
—Michele Nash-Hoff, "What's Being Done to Address the Lack of Skilled Workers?", The Huffington Post, 10/11/2011
A critical shortage of skilled workers threatens the future of U.S. manufacturing. If we do not address this crisis now, it will accelerate.

Tooling U addresses this issue by offering the Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment program to help manufacturers evaluate their capabilities. This program includes a series of questions regarding knowledge retention, future skill requirements, and employee development programs. The readiness assessment profile addresses key areas that organizations should develop to promote an empowered and efficient organization over the next decade.

Jeannine Kunz, Director of Professional Development for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, unveiled the Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment at the Interactive Manufacturing Experience (imX) event in September 2011:

Tooling U offers more than 400 classes for industries such as aerospace, automotive and transportation, heavy equipment and machinery, machining and tooling, and medical parts manufacturing, as well as oil, gas and energy. Our training packages provide essential knowledge for the machining, assembly, forming/fabricating, welding, and maintenance trades.

To take the Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment: http://www.toolingu.com/shortage

To take a tour of Tooling U’s products and services: http://www.toolingu.com/tours