How We Change the Image of Manufacturing Jobs for the Better
Career Development I’m often asked what keeps me up at night. What’s the biggest challenge our company faces? I never hesitate in my response: hands down, what keeps me awake is people.
Will we have enough people and people with the right skills to fill open positions, including jobs in our U.S. tire manufacturing plants? Unfortunately, the workforce pipeline is tightening, more so every day.
Paving the way
Certainly, we are not the only company experiencing this challenge or questioning why it is such a struggle to fill great jobs. And, if this issue is not fixed, will we need to change how we do business?
“Kids need to be shown first-hand that those who work in manufacturing are smart, articulate and excited by their jobs and the technology involved in their work.”
One recourse includes programs that provide real resources for employees, especially those early in their careers. On a similar note, we have to change the image of manufacturing jobs among young people in the communities where we operate.
Look to the National Association of Manufacturers’ celebration of Manufacturing Day, each October. And, once you do, keep going: turn that momentum into year-round outreach to students. Kids need to be shown first-hand that those who work in manufacturing are smart, articulate and excited by their jobs and the technology involved in their work. They are positive people willing to share their experiences, get involved and someday welcome these young people into manufacturing as a career.
A lasting foundation
We’re banking on the idea that a young person who one day meets an inspiring engineer, tire builder, or welder will remember that experience. When the time comes, manufacturing will become part of that student’s career considerations.
We encourage manufacturing companies across the U.S. to join together and actively participate in such outreach, to expand the pool of workers, address the widening skills gap and improve the image of manufacturing. If we all pull together, we can drive change that will benefit us all.