From The Editor

NAM Launches Campaign to Fill Jobs

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MCN Editor Dan Markham If there’s one subject that unites the service center operator, mill, toll processor and manufacturer, it’s the tremendous difficulty finding quality help. Whether the opening is on the floor or in the office, filling it is a challenge.

And it’s going to get worse before it gets better. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, by 2028 there will be an estimated 2.4 million manufacturing jobs that go unfilled in the United States, an absolutely staggering number.

So NAM is trying to do something about that. In conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute, NAM is launching 2020 Creators Wanted, an effort to build the “modern manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.”

The campaign outlines three primary objectives over the next 5-6 years: decrease the number of unfilled jobs by 600,000; increase the number of students enrolled in technical and vocational schools, apprenticeships and reskilling programs by 25 percent; and increase the positive perception of manufacturing by 50 percent among students and parents.

Taking care of that last one will go along way toward meeting the first two goals. At the moment, only 27 percent of parents would encourage their children to enter manufacturing, an attitude that undoubtedly leads to fewer potential employees weighing a career in the skilled trades.

To support the effort, the soon-to-be 125-year-old organization is launching a Creators Wanted Fund, hoping to raise $10 million toward the effort. More information is available at