Industry leaders highlight next-generation skills at manufacturing symposium

Manufacturing Workforce 4.0 lays out the future of skills, training and education for the manufacturing industry.

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Manufacturers committed to training partnerships and new models to grow their workforce came together today at Manufacturing Workforce 4.0, a symposium on skills for the new economy hosted by The Manufacturing Institute.

Manufacturing executives and thought leaders on the “workplace revolution” highlighted apprenticeship models, recruitment strategies and education models that are raising skill levels and putting Americans to work in manufacturing.

Speakers included Wes Bush, chairman, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman, and Brian Krinock, senior vice president of Vehicle Plants at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. Both companies have undergone rapid technological change and prioritize education partnerships leading into manufacturing careers.

At the event, the Institute released a new report, Training to Win, which covers trends that are remaking the manufacturing workforce and addresses talent solutions for the new economy.

Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled, and the skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled. The report outlines principles for closing that gap, including the need for modern, flexible apprenticeship and on-the-job training models and streamlined education paths that allow more people to earn industry credentials that are in demand for manufacturing.

“Today’s conversation couldn’t be more important—for our communities and for our country. This is manufacturing’s moment and building a modern manufacturing workforce is among our industry’s most pressing challenges,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “The Manufacturing Institute continues to lead the way as we share best practices, address the perceptions of manufacturing and convene innovative business leaders who are rising to the challenge of charting new frontiers for our sector.”

“Across America, talented men and women on shop floors, in labs and in offices are moving our industry into the future, but we need more of that talent,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director, The Manufacturing Institute. “We need more people eager to seize these well-paying, skilled jobs. We have seen companies want to learn from one another, and today’s symposium focused on solutions that are working for manufacturers of all sizes.”

“Any solution to our nation’s workforce problems requires partnerships,” Northrop Grumman’s Bush said. “Good partnerships display commitment at all levels. They have to be government-to-government; industry-to-industry; industry to government.  And both government and industry must maintain strong relationships with the great institutes and universities across the nation.”

The event, which took place at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., was sponsored by Arconic Foundation, ACT, Amatrol, MSSC, NIST, 180Skills, and NC3.

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