New Initiative Helps Manufacturers Recruit Young Employees…Sooner
“By 2025, it is projected that U.S. Manufacturing will have 2 million jobs left empty due to skills gaps. To stem this, schools and companies are working to teach- and attract- high school students.”
-- U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 25, 2018
For the manufacturing industry, school is in session! Introducing MassMEP's Manufacturing YOUR Career initiative, which came about in response to the continuing difficulty manufacturers are having trying to find employees. The MEP assists companies with efficiency and operational improvement, incumbent worker training, and various machine operator skills training. But it is the decline in availability of skilled and young workers entering manufacturing that is now causing serious concerns. We realize that our young people still do not have a clear understanding of all the opportunities available to them through careers in manufacturing and have created an initiative to change that.
Manufacturing YOUR Career involves outreach to high school students and other training organizations who work to prepare young people to enter the workforce. These are not the technical high school students or schools with manufacturing focused programs that we currently provide credential testing for. Instead, this program targets the traditional or alternative high school programs that may have students who are uncertain about their focus after high school and would be great candidates for manufacturing jobs once they learn more about them.
During presentations to students, we talk about all the amazing things that are being dreamed, designed, and manufactured in our state. We challenge students to learn about local manufactures, to find some they have interest in, and, if possible, pursue jobs there. Many students have plans for college or military service, but for others manufacturing is a great third option after high school graduation. Manufacturing environments provide a way for a young person to grow and explore different areas of a business and to "earn while they learn," as manufacturing jobs typically pay better than most other entry-level jobs and offer good benefits. In manufacturing, they can work their way up and into various departments of a company, get training, and take classes and college courses toward a degree. Most employers will reimburse tuition. They can get real-life, on-the-job experience, earn a living, and a get a degree without going into debt.
Manufacturing YOUR Career is trying to help manufacturers get new employees in the door sooner. Entry-level employees allow others to move up within the company to fill positions requiring more experience. We reiterate to students that when asked what they are looking for in an employee, most manufacturers say they want someone who shows up on time, has a good attitude, and wants to learn. If they have these attributes, manufacturing can provide graduates with a great career where they can earn a good living.
The overall objective of Manufacturing Your Career is to educate young people about manufacturing and help recruit them into manufacturing positions that need to be filled. NOW!!
Manufacturing LINK Database
The first project in the initiative is the Manufacturing LINK. This is a searchable database created to house information on Massachusetts manufacturers and provided to high schools as a reference, learning, and employment tool.
The LINK will be accessed through the MassMEP website. Many of MassMEP's partners, AIM, the WIB's, etc. will direct visitors to the Manufacturing LINK from their sites as well. We would like to make the LINK a valuable resource to present to the high schools across the state by including as many of Massachusetts' 7,000 manufacturers as possible.
The LINK will be searchable by company name, town, region, and type of manufacturing. The companies can post videos and list the different kinds of outreach they are willing to provide to high schools/students. The schools/students search the database and find companies they have an interest in and call or e-mail the company contact person so engagements will be made directly between manufacturer and school/students. MassMEP is providing the resource, the LINK, but companies are making their own connections. This is a proactive and incredibly easy way for manufacturers to reach out to future employees and advertise their businesses to parents, teachers, and guidance personnel who visit the LINK.
The Manufacturing LINK is a simple concept that can have significant impact. Those manufacturers who have already enrolled have said what a great idea it is. Sometimes, getting people to participate is not always easy, even when it benefits them.
Please register your company for the Manufacturing YOUR Career—Manufacturing LINK by filling out the attached form and emailing it back to Karen Myhaver, Manufacturing YOUR Career Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org