American factories are desperate for workers. It's a $1 trillion problem
May 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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GREELEY, CO - APRIL 23: JBS Greeley Beef Plant welder Guillermo Rivera welds an individual frock hook at each meat processing station that also includes new sheet-metal partitions at each station April 23, 2020. Over 100 employees tested positive for the disease, three plant employees have died, and one (non-plant) JBS corporate employee also passed away. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)"n"n"n
Demand for goods is skyrocketing as the US economy reopens from the pandemic. But there's a big problem: American factories can't find enough people to do the work.
"It is deeply concerning that at a time when jobs are in such high demand nationwide, the number of vacant entry-level manufacturing positions continues to grow," Paul Wellener, vice chairman and US industrial products and constructions leader at Deloitte, said in a statement.
Manufacturing executives say part of the problem is that many young Americans just don't want to work in factories, in part because of fears about robots taking over and jobs getting shipped overseas.
People don't know the jobs are here or that these are jobs they want," Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute, told CNN Business.
Even though millions of Americans remain out of work as the pandemic continues, the Deloitte report said "many manufacturers can't fill" entry-level production associate positions that do not require technical knowhow and pay well above the federal minimum wage of $7. 25 an hour.
Wellener, the Deloitte executive, said the rise in warehousing jobs is exacerbating the troubles for manufacturers even though those careers may offer fewer long-term opportunities.
The report makes several recommendations for how manufacturers can do a better job of attracting talent, including launching recruitment efforts at high schools, considering flexible schedules to help work/life balance and linking leadership performance to diversity, equity and inclusion metrics.
To rebuild their talent pipeline, Lee said manufacturers must proactively reach out to more diverse groups.