Manufacturing industry must change perception to recruit new workers

Wisconsin is having a difficult time attracting young new recruits to the manufacturing industry, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. One of the main problems is the misperception of manufacturing that it's a dirty job and that companies are leaving the U.S. Another issue is young students believe four-year college degrees will provide them with a more successful career than a technical degree.

Between 2003 and 2013, the average age of an employee in the manufacturing industry rose from 41.9 years old to 44.9 years old, according to the Current Population Study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the same time period, the number of employees under the age of 35 decreased by 19 percent and the number of workers over the age of 55 rose by more than 39 percent.

The manufacturing industry is faced with an aging workforce and is eager to bridge its open positions with young skilled professionals.

There are numerous ways to attract young people to the manufacturing workforce, according to LNS Research. The outdated viewed young workers and students have about the industry can be improved through summer camps and gamification in the manufacturing industry. Both of these resources make the manufacturing industry more interesting and approachable to adolescents.

Also, 3D in homes and schools is a type of technology available to adolescents that directly translates to the manufacturing industry, LNS research said.

There needs to be a change in perception, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. Companies should reach out to high schools to demonstrate the positions, work environments and successful careers available in the manufacturing industry. Parents can also participate in improving their children's perception of the industry, LNS Research believes.

Businesses with open positions should partner with manufacturing recruiters who can find them qualified candidates who are more than ready to being worker and are motivated to build a career in the manufacturing industry.