Building a Pipeline of Skilled Labor
Approximately 426,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs are going unfilled today because there are not enough qualified applicants to fill them. This number is projected to rise to 2 million over the next ten years. Although this problem is quickly growing in severity and impact, it’s something that UMC has been working on addressing over the past 25 years through our heavy involvement and investment in schools, technical colleges, apprenticeships, and other programs that introduce students to STEM and manufacturing.
We continue to invest in these areas and are leading the way in the Midwest as an example for other companies to follow. We’ve secured dual training grants for our apprentices, and this summer, we rolled out a new STEM Career Exploration program. As part of the launch of that program, we opened our doors to more than 100 interested students and parents to learn more about the opportunities in manufacturing.
We also understand the challenges of retaining skilled employees in this job market. In addition to offering competitive wages and benefits, we offer a growing number of training and development opportunities for our employees with programs like online training, courses and seminars through the Manufacturers Alliance like the Lean Practitioner Certificate program. We have documented career development plans online for each employee so that we can easily pull in development opportunities that fit the needs of our employees and so we can efficiently align and train our internal resources to meet our business needs. We’re building a connected and engaged workforce with programs like mentor training, and we continue to improve our on-boarding process.
The workforce challenge is one that our industry will be dealing with over the next several years and we are doing our best to ensure that our business is equipped to help our customers with a healthy and thriving employee base.