Wanted: 600,000 manufacturing workers

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
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Posted by of Insight Publications

American manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 skilled positions – even as unemployment numbers hover at historic levels – according to a new survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

The survey, “Boiling Point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing,” polled a nationally representative sample of 1,123 executives at manufacturing companies recently and revealed that 5 percent of current manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates.

“The survey shows that 67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers,” says Craig Giffi, vice chairman and consumer & industrial products industry leader, Deloitte LLP. “Moreover, 56 percent anticipate the shortage to increase in the next three to five years.”

Emily DeRocco, president, of The Manufacturing Institute, says the unfilled jobs are mainly in the skilled production category – positions such as machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors and technicians. “Unfortunately, these jobs require the most training and are traditionally among the hardest manufacturing jobs to find existing talent to fill,” she says.