Initiatives changing perception of careers in manufacturing

Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville will hold an open house on Oct. 7, Manufacturing Day, showcasing training equipment simulators used in advanced manufacturing.

The Wall Street Journal cites Labor Department data that say the number of open manufacturing jobs has been rising since 2009, and this year stands at the highest level in 15 years.

The Wall Street Journal cites Labor Department data that say the number of open manufacturing jobs has been rising since 2009, and this year stands at the highest level in 15 years.

Manufacturing work has changed over the past several decades, most notably in the past 15 years as companies have invested in advanced machinery and technologies. Working in these facilities with advanced manufacturing processes requires a new set of skills and knowledge.

As American manufacturing continues its impressive renaissance, there is an increasing need for a quality, skilled workforce. These skilled workers can come from the existing labor pool, but more and more, there is a need to increase the labor pool of skilled manufacturing workers.

Part of the problem with attracting new employees to manufacturing careers is the perception of manufacturing jobs. That perception is that they are not desirable jobs, are unskilled professions and do not offer family sustaining wages.

That could not be further from the truth, as modern manufacturing offers people with the right skills and abilities well-paying jobs that have ample opportunity for advancement and long-term security.

To attract more quality employees, manufacturers and their trade associations – including the National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and the Manufacturers Resource Center – have started campaigns to address this need for quality, skilled manufacturing workers.

One ongoing activity done locally is the initiative called Dream It. Do it.

This program aims to educate young school-age students and their parents about careers in advanced manufacturing.

This is done through interactive websites and video contests that promote learning about local manufacturing.

Local student groups are given video recording equipment to create, edit and showcase their homemade videos that tell us “What’s so cool about manufacturing,”

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