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Posted 09/08/2014

Manufacturers Take Action: Skills Gap & Boomer Retirements

In a tight labor market, finding qualified workers to meet customer orders and replace retiring baby boomers is becoming increasingly difficult. It may seem overwhelming, but there are actions you can take today to position your company for future success on both fronts. The skills gap is expected to only get worse in the coming years as more baby boomers retire, reports Industry Week. Below are three industry best practices for overcoming the skills gap:
  • Change perceptions, drive more interest. More people need to choose manufacturing as a career. Now is the time to look at our local community and partner with technical and community colleges, STEM programs and high schools to show the younger generation, educators and parents the great opportunities available in manufacturing. As one local example, each October manufacturers and supporting organizations partner to host MN Tour of Manufacturing to showcase our high-tech, high-skill industry
  • Be creative. Look for new opportunities to develop a pipeline of workers via partnerships with local community colleges, veterans groups or immigrant communities. Offering internships, curriculum assistance or tours are also great ways to develop both interests and skills
  • Think internal too. Remember that you should also develop current employees for leadership roles. Do you have a mentor program? Regular job training? Identifying high-potential employees for development not only helps fill future positions but also helps with employee retention
Forbes Magazine reports that 30 million baby boomers will retire this decade. To prevent a skills drain from those retirements, take time today to think through the following:
  • Do you have a clear understanding of your internal skills sets?
  • Do you have a corporate “university” or training program?
  • Do you encourage and provide mentors?
Experienced employees will appreciate being tapped to share their knowledge and some will take on the role of mentor or teacher with great enthusiasm. Younger workers will benefit not only from building new skills but also from the relationships formed. Taking action is the best way to get out in front of both the skills gap and the ever increasing baby boomer retirements in your organization. [caption id="attachment_791" align="alignleft" width="300"]source: industryweek.com source: industryweek.com[/caption]