Collaboration Key to Cultivating Tomorrow’s Workforce

Ask any manufacturer what the primary challenge to growth is in the current industrial environment, and almost invariably, you’ll hear about the lack of skilled, qualified labor. Even as economic factors pull manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., an entire baby-boom generation of skilled laborers is heading for retirement. The jobs are here, and more are coming – the challenge is filling them.

Industry stewardship is important in this regard, as members of the industry can be seen individually doing their part to increase awareness of the need and availability for workers, provide education, etc. But the real, lasting impact isn’t individual. It stems from collaboration across industries – from machine tool builder and tooling supplier to high school teacher and parent; from trade press and local media to industry organization and association. When all of these parties are working together toward the same goal, namely education, awareness and support for the future of manufacturing in America, that’s when we start to see results.

The following video, highlighting a recent future workforce development event, illustrates how collaboration across platforms can make a lasting impression. The video was produced by the community of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, so even local government was involved. This is a great example of how to tackle the big labor question.