How To Encourage New Generations To Consider Careers In Manufacturing

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By Rick Geiger

What can we do to encourage new generations to consider manufacturing careers? At its heart, this is a marketing question. You have to sell yourself—and the manufacturing industry—to potential employees, specifically to young people who know technology but don’t know manufacturing.

Manufacturing has been evolving rapidly over the past 10 to 20 years. The Digital Revolution and modern technology continue to transform the industry into something our fathers and grandfathers wouldn’t recognize. Modern manufacturing is fast-paced. It’s high-tech. It’s digital. It’s safe. Yet, millennials and other young people aren’t flocking to fill the manufacturing jobs being vacated by retiring baby boomers. Why is that? The short answer: They don’t know what they’re missing.

The questions remains, though, what can be done to encourage new generations to consider manufacturing careers? Here are a few ideas from IndustryWeek.com to get you started:

Dispel the Myths

Selling young people on a career in manufacturing is all about dispelling myths. Counter the bum rap with facts—about the good pay, the safety, the cutting-edge technology. Understand the misconceptions, the outdated stereotypes, and address them head-on. Modern manufacturing is exciting, challenging, lucrative, and safe. So, tell them.

Highlight the High-Tech…

Young people have grown up as children of the digital revolution. Yet, they probably don’t realize just what that revolution looks like in modern manufacturing. It’s not what they think. So, tell them about computer-aided design, AI, automation, and 3D printing. They’ll eat it up!

Sell the Future

Research has shown that what millennials want out of work more than anything is fulfillment. That means learning and growing and advancing. Static, dead-end jobs are out. On-going training is in. Advancement possibilities are big. Make sure—as much as possible—that your company offers young people a fulfilling environment and future. And then go tell them about it.

Re-evaluate Job Postings

Every job posting is a commercial for your company and for the industry. Make sure you’re selling yourself and the position you’re trying to fill, and actively dispelling the myths about manufacturing in the process.

Remember, young people these days just think they don’t like manufacturing. Now, get out there and show them what they’re missing!


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