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Modern day manufacturing is not your grandfather’s manufacturing (Opinion)

October 16, 2015

Modern-day manufacturing is not your grandfather’s manufacturing, and today is a day set aside specifically to challenge the generations-old stereotypes. Manufacturing Day, the first Friday in October, is a growing national grassroots movement dedicated to overcoming the shared challenges facing modern manufacturers.

Manufacturing depends on a skilled workforce, but many companies have jobs they simply cannot fill. In fact, 80 percent of manufacturers cannot find the skilled workers they need.

The 2015 Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Skills Gap Study confirmed there is still a significant shortage of talent in U.S. manufacturing and is only projected to grow over the next decade.

Picture and story from Yellowhammer News
Picture and story from Yellowhammer News

A staggering 84 percent of executives agree there is a talent shortage in U.S.manufacturing. As the baby boomer generation retires and more jobs are created by economic expansion, the skills gap will continue to expand making the need for companies to attract and expand workers even more critical.

Lingering negative stereotypes toward manufacturing still exist. So many still think of manufacturing as dangerous factories with a low-skilled, low-wage, all-male workforce. In reality, manufacturers have the highest job tenure in the private sector, and in Alabama, the average annual salary was nearly $61,000 in 2013.

Today’s manufacturing is highly technical with robots and automated machinery, but more must be done to convince young women to pursue a career in manufacturing. The Portland Press Herald reported that less than 10 percent of young women placed manufacturing among the top five occupations they felt offered them career opportunities.

Manufacturers across the country are hosting open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events today to highlight manufacturing’s present-day reality and encourage today’s students to develop the skills they need for high-quality careers.

As part of our ongoing effort to honor the individuals and companies that bring uncompromising excellence to Alabama manufacturing, the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network are proud to host the annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards.

Since 2000, the Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards program recognizes the state’s top manufacturers for their accomplishments. Awards are presented in three categories based on employee size and revenues – small, medium, and large manufacturers.

Apply for the prestigious award in order to share your story, recognize the hard work and dedication of your employees, promote your significant accomplishments, highlight corporate citizenship, join the ranks of other notable manufacturers, receive well-deserved news coverage, and help increase public awareness about the strength and economic significance of Alabama’s manufacturing community.

The nomination deadline is Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, and the application deadline is Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The Manufacturers of the Year Awards luncheon is Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at the Alabama Activity Center in Montgomery. For more information, visit alabamamoty.org.


This story was written by William J. Canary and originally appeared on YellowhammerNews.com on Oct. 2nd, 2015.

William J. Canary is the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. The BCA is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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