by John Perrotti III, CMRP
Manufacturing in the United States is a key sector of the American economy. According to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, nearly 7% of all jobs across the country were in the manufacturing field in 2018. Manufacturing was the country’s third largest contributing entity to Gross Domestic Product in 2018. And these are great jobs – according to the National Association of Manufacturers, in 2019, when factoring in pay and benefits, the average manufacturing worker earns more than $88,000 per year. Even non-supervisory production workers make an average of nearly $23 per hour, providing a stable income for someone breaking into the field.
Not only is there a need for workers throughout the manufacturing industry, it is estimated that roughly 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will be needed over the next decade. In fact, there is speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic will necessitate extreme innovation over the next 18 months, which could result in even more opportunities. The biggest challenge that manufacturing firms are having is finding trained manufacturing professionals with experience or the skills to upwardly advance.
One specific sector within manufacturing that is facing a critical crossroad is the maintenance and reliability field. Many jobs in the maintenance field are staffed with individuals nearing the end of their career. Our society is faced with a “silver tsunami”, where it is questionable if there will be enough skilled maintenance workers to fill the openings. Our mission is to help companies weather this storm and provide the training and support for individuals in this field to increase the effectiveness of their jobs.
The industry is adapting, though, as some educational institutions and programs are integrating manufacturing competencies into their curriculum. Others offer certification programs and continuing education options so that workers’ skills can adapt to, and keep up with, technology. Some companies have even developed their own degree programs with the partnership of a local community and technical colleges on their campuses, which, once completed, affords graduates opportunities to start their career with the company.
With October being Manufacturing Month, we want to bring attention to this important economic driver. Manufacturing has long been an integral component to the success of our country and its adaption to technological and societal changes will keep it a core sector. We salute all of the manufacturing companies and workers that are continuing to work through the pandemic. We take a lot of pride in helping companies develop practical protocols and sustainable processes that keep workers safe and productive, even during the most challenging of times.
About the Author
John Perrotti III, CMRP is a Vice President for Fuss & O’Neill’s Manufacturing Solutions Group. He works closely with manufacturing clients improve their overall safety and efficiency in every aspect of their businesses.