InsightsManufacturingAddressing The Shrinking Industrial Workforce

Addressing The Shrinking Industrial Workforce

The same factories and manufacturing infrastructure that helped propel the United States and its allies to victory in WWII, also drove the rise of the middle class in the post-war years. In the decades since that time, these jobs helped millions of Baby Boomers (Americans born from 1946-1964) produce stable wages working across a broad spectrum of manufacturing jobs. From packaged goods to high-tech components, manufacturing remains one of the largest sectors of the American economy. 

However, this segment is currently facing a big dilemma with millions of Boomers transitioning into retirement at an estimated rate of 11,000 leaving the workforce every day, according to The Washington Post. Compared to other major industries, the Boomer drain is particularly acute for manufacturers as they generally suffer from one of the highest attrition rates.  

Combine that with a global pandemic, and you’ve got hundreds of thousands of unfilled manufacturing jobs and not enough experienced workers to fill them.  

The latest findings from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute show that key consequences of not filling these jobs include: the inability of US manufacturers to grow revenue (82%) and the inability to maintain production levels to satisfy demand (81%). This study also found that if not addressed, the manufacturing skills gap could cost the US economy as much as $1 trillion. 

Manufacturers must respond to this challenge with alacrity – and Sprout can help. Many of the organizations we serve are laser-focused on retaining the industrial (or tribal) knowledge of their mature workers and integrating that expertise into a manufacturing workforce of the future. This includes developing strategies for employee retention, improving employee communications, increasing training and cross-training efforts – while implementing progressively digital solutions for the sharing and storing information. 

From the field to the shop floor, Sprout has worked with many clients to help keep their employees safe, informed and more engaged in their work. We are committed to supporting this vibrant industry that underpins America’s economic health and stability into the future. 

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