Millennials in Manufacturing
Dawn of New Age in Manufacturing
Author: M.Hagaman | May 2022 | 5 minute read
A closer look at manufacturing careers, labor statistics, millennials in manufacturing, and attracting younger generations to the manufacturing industry.
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is Manufacturing Engineering a Good Career?
Manufacturing can be a very rewarding career choice. This career path includes diverse and rewarding opportunities in research and development, production, product design, and testing.
Manufacturing is a dynamic and diverse growing field. There are more than two million manufacturing jobs across the country, and Manufacturing is one of the largest drivers of economic growth in America.
You could specialize in fields such as electrical or mechanical controls, or program computer-controlled machine tools. Or even develop new products by combining engineering, manufacturing expertise, and creativity.
You are literally helping build the world around you.
Although manufacturing needs are increasing, the industry is seeing a decline of trade workers (specifically millennials) in that workforce and companies are trying to find better ways to attract new talent.
Manuafacutring Labor Statistics
One of the best things about choosing manufacturing as a career path is it will never be a dying industry.
Innovative products are being sent to market every day, and many manufacturing can be accomplished in many ways.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released May 2022 shows manufacturing added +55,000 jobs over the last few months.
“Durable goods manufacturing added 31,000 jobs in April led by gains in transportation equipment (+14,000) and machinery (+7,000). Manufacturers of nondurable goods added 24,000 jobs over the month”
Manufacturing is projected to increase even in the years to come, making it a great choice for the younger workforce looking for long-term growth in an industry.
Millennials in Manufacturing and Labor Shortages
Many Gen x and Boomers are reaching retirement ages, which is leading to an immediate and long-term demand for skilled workers. The people with the capabilities to build these products will soon be out of the workforce.
The labor shortage is one of the most severe issues facing the U.S. economy today. While unemployment is near a generational low, there are positions that employers cannot fill due to a lack of workers with the necessary skills.
In a recent article “How to Attract Millennials and Gen Z’s to your Workforce,” Author and company owner Jake Hall, of The Manufacturing Millennial, talks about labor shortages and what companies can do to attract millennials:
“Titled the “Silver Tsunami,” many baby boomers who have been highly experienced and skilled in the industry for decades are now retiring. The younger generations who would typically fill these roles are looking elsewhere, creating a massive labor shortage that will reach an estimated 2.4 million unfilled jobs by 2028.”
Image from Jake Hall the Manufacturing Millennial demonstrating what the estimated unfilled jobs will look like between 2018 and 2028.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that millennials will overtake the majority representation of the workforce by 2030. Meaning this generation will make up 75% of the workforce.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that by 2024, there will be approximately 91 million millennials employed in the U.S. alone.
Can Millennials Change Manufacturing?
Millennials and Technology in Manufacturing
Millennials are attracted to technology. As a Millenial myself I can vouch for this. We are comfortable using it, and at times feel less educated when confronted with outdated technology…” Alexa…how do you use a rotary dial phone?”
Millennials don’t want to work harder…that’s a fact. They want to work smarter. They are looking for improvements to technology and getting answers faster. They prefer to work in the “Cloud” for efficiency. Communication needs to be fast, easy to use, and the ability to connect effectively.
Millennials also know how to get things fast and project how they want them. This can be a very beneficial attitude for business. With an “I want it now and fast” personality, millennials have shaped how quickly we get things done. DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Lyft is some examples of companies created based on Millennial personality needs. These companies have adapted to match the millennial pace, making them very profitable industries.
For Millenials to be interested in manufacturing careers, they need to be excited about technology and advancements made in the processes. Companies in manufacturing should be open and willing to learn from millennials’ willingness to advance technology. This can provide faster and more productive engineering.
What Millennials Want in Manufacturing
Technology in Manufacturing
Manufacturing companies are getting smarter. Using new, innovative manufacturing technologies. Like Robotics and automation. Machining and controls.
This advancement in technology can make a career in manufacturing more lucrative to millennials and younger people.
Events like The Robotics Summit Showcase and Automate 2022 are helping bring more interest to this industry.
Metal Casting Manufacturing Trade Schools
Since I work for a metal casting company, I wanted to bring more light to trade schools and information for young people interested in this growing career.
American Foundry Society is helping young people learn the trade of metal casting. They are understanding millennials’ needs and Gen
Y and putting that into an effective learning environment.
Offering online classes and hands-on experience, they are helping these generations learn these important trade factors to help prototyping projects, engineering, and product development.
Manufacturing Trade Schools
In manufacturing, you can have a hand in developing the products that change your community and improve people’s lives every day!
If you are interested in learning more about manufacturing careers Trade Schools can be a great way to get the information and schooling you need.
Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International
How to Attract Millennials to Manufacturing
5 things companies can do to attract millennials
Manufacturing companies aren’t the only industry that needs to adjust to attract millennials, but is one that needs to start making improvements quickly.
As you have read from the manufacturing career statistics, more efforts need to be made to attract the next generation of engineers. Advancements in technology and manufacturing practices are improving and starting to excite many people looking to get into this industry.
Besides technological advancements, here is a list of 5 things a company can do to attract millennials and the next generation:
- Innovate – Be open to innovation and willing to try new things- Ask a millennial that you work with, you might be surprised to find a new way of doing something that might be more efficient.
2. Offer work/life balance– Remote or hybrid working options should be more readily available in the job if it has the right setting for it. Or better time off/away packages. Some companies are also migrating to a 4 day work week. Millennials don’t like to feel tied down and want to know the company offers a strong emphasis on work/life balance.
3. Offer Competitive Salaries and Growth Plans– Keeping up with inflation, especially during these last few years is important. In manufacturing, showing a growth path in the career is also important.
4. Promoting Education– Companies like ours here at Precise Cast work with local schools to help offer hands-on experience in metal casting and manufacturing. Companies willing to offer hands-on training and education will retain more employees.
5. Companies Culture– What type of environment are you cultivating? Are you open to diversity? Are you willing to listen to new ideas? Do you support women, minorities, or LGBTQ in the workplace? What companies represent and their culture is important to millennials and younger generations. Be a leader in these areas and you may find better retention and advancement of employees.