National Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. This year it occurs on October 7. Companies participate in a number of events around the nation to highlight the importance of manufacturing to their business. This year, manufacturers will host students, teachers, parents, job seekers and community leaders at open houses, plant tours and educational sessions to showcase modern manufacturing technology and to learn about a career in the industry. We will be celebrating National Manufacturing Day by participating in “Made in New Jersey,” an event sponsored by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program to help manufacturers in the Garden State achieve improved productivity and drive economic growth.
Manufacturing affects our daily lives and drives the U.S. economy. According to recent statistics from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), there are currently more than 12.3 million jobs in manufacturing in the United States and the industry comprises 12.1% of our GDP. There are many diverse careers in manufacturing ranging from engineers and technicians to assemblers and welders to operations managers and designers. The average annual salary of a manufacturing worker is greater than $79,000.
With fewer people pursuing careers in manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, numerous reports abound about the current skills gap in the industry, which will only get larger as time goes on unless students decide to follow that career path. We’ve all been hearing for several years now about the lack of truck drivers and the growing deficit caused by retirement of current drivers and fewer people pursuing truck driving as a career. The skills gap in manufacturing is widening – over the next decade, NAM states that nearly 3.5 million jobs will need to be filled.
The mission of Manufacturing Day is to engage with people to improve the perception of the U.S. manufacturing industry. In a survey of last year’s attendees to Manufacturing Day events, the Manufacturing Institute recognized that:
- 84% of attendees became more aware of manufacturing jobs in their community
- 81% of attendees became more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding
- 62% of attendees were more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing
Manufacturing businesses need to focus on closing the skills gap today so that they will not be affected by a lack of workers. First, retain your current talent by offering additional training and skills development. Hire veterans or retired people and train them to fill the gaps. Attract and develop the right people by offering competitive salaries and excellent benefits. Recruit on campus and make your presence known in the community. Offer internships and work studies. The more your business is involved and engaged in the community and local schools, the quicker the perception will change, leading to more and more talented people applying for jobs.
Transportation Insight believes that U.S. manufacturing is strong and we are committed to its growth. We help our manufacturing clients to optimize supply chain processes with robust technologies that result in improved working capital and increased productivity, which foster growth, allowing manufacturers to hire more workers to sustain that growth. Transportation Insight salutes the manufacturing industry and hails National Manufacturing Day as a celebration of this vital component of the American economy.