" /> Skilled Labor Shortage | Pittsburgh Manufacturing Services

Skilled Labor Shortage in the Manufacturing Industry

The Federal Reserve released its most recent Beige Book on June 5, 2019, which summarizes current economic conditions, including challenges, opportunities and trends of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. A common theme noted in the publication was tight labor markets and shortages of skilled laborers with a rising demand for such workers. This is not news to most manufacturing companies, as recruiting and hiring skilled laborers has been an obstacle for several years.

There are two main causes of this shortage. First, a significant number of laborers who belong to the baby boomer generation are reaching retirement age. Second, there has been difficulty in getting the younger generation interested in jobs within the manufacturing industry.  The aging workforce combined with the trouble of attracting younger workers has presented a difficult situation for most manufacturing companies.

Several solutions to the labor shortage have been presented and implemented throughout the country in the form of apprenticeships and work-based learning programs.  The goal of these programs is to attract younger workers to the engineering and technical aspects of the industry. Currently in the United States, the top four industries for apprenticeships are construction, military, public administration and manufacturing. Manufacturing apprenticeships are typically focused on production and machine workers as well as engineers. These apprenticeships provide specialized training and application-based learning, which in turn produces competent, efficient and effective workers.  Apprentices typically command higher wages, but can create cost savings in the long run.

Another solution is work-based learning programs, which focus on educating high school students on the opportunities within the skilled trades industries. Throughout the country, companies have teamed up with educators to introduce students to the inner workings of the manufacturing industry, including the various jobs available and the skills needed to adequately perform them. Without these programs, it is unlikely that high school students would be aware of these opportunities.

As the industry progresses and grows, companies are also faced with decisions to invest in technology and automation rather than their workforce. However, for the foreseeable future, skilled laborers are still needed. Perhaps investment in the programs mentioned above could be the solution to the labor shortage and the key to creating an effective and efficient workforce.

For further information on manufacturing apprenticeships, see: https://www.apprenticeship.gov/apprenticeship-industries/advanced-manufacturing

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at contactSD@schneiderdowns.com.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2019 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

our thoughts on

Manufacturing in Today's Economy
Results and Implications of the Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management’s Report on Business for Q3 2019
The Wolf, the Goat and the Kid: An Unexpected Tale of Invoice Redirection Fraud
Manufacturers are Targets for Cybercriminals - How to Thwart an Attack
Results and Implications of the Institute for Supply Management’s Report on Business – 1st Half of 2019
Not All Internships are Created Equal

Register to receive our weekly newsletter with our most recent columns and insights.

Have a question? Ask us!

We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note, and we’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Ask us

contact us

Map of Pittsburgh Office
Pittsburgh

One PPG Place, Suite 1700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

contactsd@schneiderdowns.com
p:412.261.3644     f:412.261.4876

Map of Columbus Office
Columbus

65 East State Street, Suite 2000
Columbus, OH 43215

contactsd@schneiderdowns.com
p:614.621.4060     f:614.621.4062

Map of Washington Office
Washington, D.C.

1660 International Drive, Suite 600
McLean, VA 22102