10,000 Job Openings Today, 10,000 More Tomorrow…
One of the big questions of manufacturing today is how to attract the future of the workforce; millennials. As the baby boomers exit the workplace, millennials are the ones that are entering it. As a matter of fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 10,000 baby boomers will retire each day over the next 19 years. It is no secret that as these baby boomers and Gen Xers retire, there is a growing necessity for workers to fill the gaps being left. However, a job in manufacturing isn’t as popular and sought after as it once was.
With this being said, it is important to target the future, which lies with millennials. With the baby boomers and Gen Xers leaving the workplace, this is opening up more opportunities for millennials. In other words this shift is creating a high demand for workers with excellent science, technology, engineering, and math skills. As a result of this, many manufacturing companies are incredibly interested in the growing STEM movement. Focusing on a STEM career for millennials may not be a bad investment of their time according to Time Magazine. “STEM centered careers are expected to see significant growth throughout the next decade.” This bodes well for manufacturing companies along with millennials looking to enter into one of the specialized fields of STEM.
As technology continues to advance and evolve, there are more and more jobs being created to attract millennials. A lot of these jobs are in the field of math and science, which is where a specialization in one of the branches of STEM will become beneficial. As a matter of fact, according to Chmura, jobs in STEM are anticipated to have a growth rate of roughly 14.3%. Whether we like it or not, the rise of technology is not only affecting the way millennials behave socially, but new technological advancements are also creating new industries and jobs that may attract millennials.
Also, the future of manufacturing is becoming more technological and advanced, as digital manufacturing has paved the way for a large amount of opportunities in addition to the traditional plant floor roles. The digitalization of the industry has turned the manual labor that manufacturing companies used to know into a much more high-tech environment. But, millennials can bring that new sense of innovation, along with new idea outlooks into a highly advancing field. One of the most important things manufacturing companies need to do to attract the large workforce of millennials is change with the times and “do more than promote the ‘coolness’ of the job.” In an article on Industry Week, it talks about how manufacturers need to not only promote the ‘coolness’, but also communicate the educational requirements for succeeding in manufacturing careers, so that students can not only understand the necessary skills they need, but also to see if that’s something that interests them.
One way, possibly the best platform for manufacturers to educate both students and parents, is on Manufacturing Day. Manufacturing Day occurs on the first Friday of October, and is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Aiming to address the misperceptions by showing what manufacturing is and isn’t, manufacturing Day is something that Ashley Ward continually takes advantage of. Ashley Ward uses this day to bring in local students and showcase modern manufacturing. Typically, Ashley Ward will provide presentations, a facility tour, as well as a hands-on experience to really showcase to the students how a machine shop operates and what goes into it on a daily basis.