There’s an interesting article from 7/23/14 in the online US News & World Report about a growing shortage of skilled workers.  In it, the author states “A new Accenture study for the Manufacturing Institute describes a growing skills gap in the industry as “storm clouds on the horizon that could dampen growth.” More than 75 percent of manufacturers surveyed reported a moderate to severe shortage of skilled workers, and more than 80 percent reported a moderate to severe shortage in highly skilled manufacturing resources. Most surveyed manufacturers plan to increase U.S.-based production in the next five years, exacerbating the skilled-worker gap.”

During my conversations with employers they echo that same refrain.  They cannot find enough skilled workers to run their increasingly sophisticated equipment. There are a couple of major reasons for this.  First, starting in the early 2000s, manufacturers started off-shoring their production to lower costs.  This caused a slow-down in domestic manufacturing output leading to work force downsizing.  That, in turn, caused early retirement for some and career changes for others.  Second, it took years but as companies learned the total cost of goods made overseas were not as low as they thought they started bringing manufacturing back to America.  Couple that with an expanding economy and we have more job opportunities than qualified applicants.  What a great time to be entering the manufacturing work force!

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