If you read any news stories related to American manufacturing, you’ll see that the overwhelming majority agree: it’s in a full state of recovery. Many even use the word “renaissance.”

Flag_of_the_United_States.svgThe fact is, innovation and technology are greater than ever. Companies of all sizes are returning business to American soil, and manufacturers and consumers alike are realizing the true value in products made in the U.S. It’s all very good news.

Yet there seems to be a major disconnect in the industry. While it’s back and doing great, and quality is better than ever—and it’s an incredible promising, valuable career—there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill open positions and help companies continue to make these quality American goods. Take these numbers, for example*:

  • While the industry has grown significantly in the past few years, about 600,000 jobs remain unfilled
  • 82% of manufacturers say they face a moderate to serious shortage of skilled workers
  • 75% of manufacturers say the skills shortage negatively affects their ability to expand

Of course, all hope is not lost. Throughout the country, schools, communities, businesses, and even the Federal government are coming up with ways to entice young people while both showing them the true advantages of careers in manufacturing and promoting STEM education. From getting young girls excited about engineering to getting college students interested in all aspects of the industry, many people are addressing the shortage now.

Another thing we can all do is celebrate this great industry on Manufacturing Day, taking place October 3, 2014. It’s a chance to not only commemorate the industry and all who make it what it is, but get everyone involved. Manufacturers can open their doors, showcase their work, and promote the value of it all.

As proud manufacturers, we look forward to doing just that, and to encourage everyone to do the same.

*http://www.shrm.org/about/foundation/products/documents/4-13%20skills%20gap%20briefing.pdf

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