The demands on today’s workforce are quite different than a decade ago. This is no truer for U.S. manufacturing than other sectors of our economy. However, manufacturing–unlike other industry segments–has had to quickly learn that competitiveness is more than keeping pace with changes on the “factory floor.” To remain competitive, businesses must also ensure that the “front office” is equally prepared to successfully manage business operations against adaptive supply chains, new technologies, and shifting market demands.
Across all industries, U.S. executives and plant managers report that a skilled, educated workforce is the single most critical–and hardest to acquire–element to the success of their business. The portability and mobility of today’s workforce compounds this problem but also offers an opportunity to employers prepared to be nimble, innovative, and responsive to change.
U.S. manufacturers, employing more than 12 million Americans and supporting an additional 5 million jobs in related industries, are already way ahead of many others in this regard. Manufacturers have begun to link professional education, skills acquisition, and workforce readiness to the shifting demands on their businesses and the need for a more highly trained senior workforce.…Read More