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ManpowerGroup Advises Manufacturers How to Solve the Skills Gap

ManpowerGroup Advises Manufacturers How to Solve the Skills Gap As U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports 7.5% Jobless Rate and 165,000 jobs added for April 2013

Comprehensive Talent Solutions for U.S. Manufacturing Sector Will Sustain 'Made in the USA' Surge

ManpowerGroup advises manufacturers to commit to private-public sector task forces for developing market-specific solutions to address the skills shortage impacting the U.S. manufacturing industry, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported the overall jobless rate ticked down to a four-year low of 7.5 percent. A total of 165,000 jobs were added with employment in manufacturing jobs holding steady in April.

"Innovative manufacturing and prototyping enterprises are growing in the U.S., but hiring in manufacturing is not as robust as we'd like to see," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President. "Contemporary U.S. manufacturing means highly unique and relevant design, however, many manufacturers can't find the skilled talent needed to competitively accelerate their R&D, CAD/CAM and production cycles, which are required for staying competitive in the Human Age."

Leveraging its 65-plus years in the sector, ManpowerGroup created the Manpower Manufacturing Challenge Council to encourage collaborative problem solving among those directly impacted by the skills shortage in the U.S. workforce. Held in February 2013 at ManpowerGroup's Milwaukee headquarters, the kick-off event brought manufacturing employers, trade groups, educators and government leaders together to discuss top trends in contemporary manufacturing and the skill levels and technical specifications missing at large from the U.S. workforce.

Participants at the Manpower Manufacturing Challenge Council met in small-group strategy sessions to identify innovative solutions to solving skills gap issues. Collectively, the group unanimously identified the need to re-energize and rebrand manufacturing to make it more compelling to younger generations entering the workforce, as well as other suggestions to partner with education and government leaders to raise awareness of manufacturing as a viable and needed profession that drives healthy economies. Later this year, Manpower will host additional Manufacturing Challenge Council events in top U.S. manufacturing markets to address local solutions to the global skills shortage and encourage the collective flow of ideas and solutions from business, educators and government.

"Working together, employers and educators can bring added focus and prestige to increasingly technical manufacturing roles, ultimately attracting more young people to these important professions," said Jorge Perez, Manpower Senior Vice President, North America. "Most people don't realize that careers in manufacturing today are innovative and creative and require not only high-level skills to operate technical equipment and machines, but also problem-solving and collaborative skills to drive results. Techs in manufacturing are in demand and individuals with the right skills and certification can count on steady employment and excellent earning potential. We need to encourage more young people to see manufacturing as a career path.  At the same time, manufacturers need to reach out to young people and build collaborative training alliances with educators to sustain a high-skilled labor pool for years to come." 

As part of the Manpower Manufacturing Challenge Council, ManpowerGroup, in partnership with Tom Davenport, Harvard Business School manufacturing expert, released a series of research papers, entitled "The Future of the Manufacturing Workforce," that detail both problems and solutions to the industry's skills shortage. Visit download the series.

In addition, ManpowerGroup partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation to sponsor the Executive Briefing, "Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap."  The paper highlights four ways to close the skills gap, including partnerships with community colleges, apprenticeship programs, nonprofit coalitions and skills certifications.  


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