Manufacturers Pledge Training Opportunities to 1.2 Million Workers

August 2, 2019

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons, and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee, will sign the Pledge to America’s Workers, with manufacturers committing to provide training opportunities to 1,186,000 manufacturing workers over the next five years to address the industry’s skills gap crisis. Timmons, a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, will make the announcement official at a White House event marking the one-year anniversary of the initiative, which asks companies and trade groups nationwide to commit to expand programs that educate, train, and re-skill American workers from high school age to near retirement.

“Manufacturers face a workforce crisis with more than half a million unfilled manufacturing jobs today and 2.4 million jobs that may go unfilled by 2028,” said Timmons, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of The Institute. “But manufacturers are also problem solvers and committed to being part of the solution. So today, manufacturers proudly make this pledge to the American worker: we will continue to invest in our workforce and provide 1,186,000 Americans with the opportunity to receive training and development that will enhance their skills and prepare them for the next step on their career journey. This is manufacturers demonstrating that we are keeping our promise to invest in our people. The men and women who make things in America are the backbone of this economy, and it is our commitment that America’s manufacturing workers will have the opportunity to learn, grow and take on new challenges.”

The 509,000 open manufacturing jobs reported in May marks an all-time high for the industry. According to a 2018 skills gap study by the Institute and Deloitte, as many as 2.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled by 2028. The most recent Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey also found that the inability to find skilled workers remains the single greatest challenge facing manufacturers today and for the past six quarters.

“With a record number of job openings right now—and many more expected over the next decade—the future of the manufacturing industry will be tied to the future of its workforce,” said Lee. “That’s why we are committed to supporting the manufacturing workforce of today and growing the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. Our sector’s pledge over the next five years to provide training opportunities to more than a million men and women who make things in America will help keep manufacturing competitive and secure manufacturing’s mantle of leadership well into the future.”

Ahead of its 125th anniversary, the NAM recently announced a member-driven campaign to raise at least $10 million for the newly established “Creators Wanted Fund” to inspire and drive more Americans to pursue careers in modern manufacturing. The NAM and The Institute will bring a “Creators Wanted” mobile tour of modern manufacturing to parents and students in 20 to 25 states over 18 weeks, unveil a year-long nationwide digital campaign to recruit new talent to the industry and host a culminating “Making America” Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio, in September 2020 featuring interactive exhibits, thought leadership forums, and entertainment to showcase the future of modern manufacturing in America. The campaign will also fuel The Institute’s workforce programs and help build the next generation of solutions to grow the manufacturing workforce.

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