NAM survey points to growing shortage of skilled workers

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: talent management

Results from the National Association of Manufacturers’ annual Small Manufacturers Operating Survey point to a glaring problem for America’s manufacturers: a lack of qualified workers to fill highly skilled positions. 


“This skills gap reflects a perfect storm that is quickly converging on manufacturers in their effort to fill factory floor jobs,” said NAM president John Engler. “The need for technologically knowledgeable employees is expanding and global competition is increasing even as the Baby Boomer generation begins retiring.” 


Of the 467 small to medium-size manufacturers interviewed in June, 46.3 percent point to “finding qualified employees” as a serious problem for their company.


America can’t compete without skilled workers,” Engler said. “Eighty percent of NAM members have trouble finding qualified employees for today’s high-tech workplace and the problem is only getting worse. While the Baby Boomers are retiring out the back door we aren’t seeing enough young, qualified Americans coming through the front door to fill these jobs. Thus, the NAM is working to attract young people to manufacturing careers and expanding their educational and training opportunities.”


In an effort to narrow this gap, The Manufacturing Institute, NAM’s research and education arm, launched "Dream It. Do It." on September 8 in Lincoln, Neb., and will do so in southwest Virginia in early October. These campaigns come just a year after launching the pilot program in Kansas City


“Unfortunately, too many young people have an outdated view of manufacturing and don’t consider it to be an interesting or rewarding career,” Engler said. “'Dream It. Do It.' puts a new face on today’s cutting edge manufacturing and is a start in offsetting the brewing storm manufacturers could face.”


The Small Manufacturing Operating Survey is vailable at:


The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 10 additional offices across the country.