The skills gap is not a new topic for us here at Ohio Valley Manufacturing. Just as it is a double-sided coin for the industry at large – manufacturing jobs created by strong growth, but few skilled workers to fill them – so have we discussed the issue in the same light. As this article describes, with 2.5 million new jobs slated to open up in coming years to due retirement alone, it’s definitely not something to talk about anymore without action as well. Solutions are plentiful from all corners, but there some interesting ideas discussed in the article. Let’s look at a few key concepts:

Education: Not, specifically, the existing education system. Vocational training is approaching an all-time low, yet it is critically important for filling these positions. Much of the duty lies with manufacturers themselves to make sure that educational programs are offered – whether through the school system or not – to properly train the next generation of manufacturers.

Don’t find employees – make them. A program that could quite possibly prove to be revolutionary is outlined in the above piece. Rather than searching out trained, traditionally “qualified” recruitees, a new program is locating those with the most potential to learn a new skill or trade, and placing them in training programs. The program centers around a specific group with the greatest success in that area: U.S. military veterans. Whether through the program or not, it provides a new angle for manufacturers to take in seeking their next generation of workers. Someone who has shown themselves to be a hard worker and a quick study may likely be easier to find than someone with the specific training that is thought to be required.

We look forward to engaging with the next wave of manufacturing through these methods and others.