Manufacturing jobs are on the rise in many southern states. Additionally, the pay is better for many of them than college jobs. Those who want to capitalize on the changes happening to the industry can take advantage of the multiple trade schools that are starting to crop up. These are serving the community by offering training to students who want to secure some of the many technical roles available in today's factories. The modern design of a U.S. industrial plant is heavily focused on machines. Rather than building objects, people in factories are mostly doing work having to do with making sure equipment is functional and programming computers.
Atlanta sees job growth in manufacturing
The Atlanta Business Journal reported that growth in the manufacturing sector will continue in Georgia. Examples of jobs that will grow include forklift operating and work involving big data. The study conducted by Randstad and cited by the Journal, noted that Atlanta's investment in schools that offer training in the so-called STEM group – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – is helping people find better work and allowing companies to recruit labor in high numbers.
Oklahoma and Mississippi jobs pay more than other work
A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, cited by The Daily Ardmoreite, reported that full-time manufacturing jobs for those who are not college-educated, bring in, on average, $3,700 more in yearly salary than workers who are in other occupations.
"This report makes clear just how crucial the manufacturing sector is to the nation's economy," said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. "Manufacturing's wage premium is a clear path to the middle class."
The Economic Policy Institute also found that Mississippi, manufacturers earn more than those in other jobs, according to The Clarion-Ledger. A worker would earn $16.23 per hour, while someone else in another sector might make only $15.70 per hour. About 12 percent of workers in Mississippi earn their living by doing manufacturing. Meanwhile they are also receiving good benefits, such as healthcare and savings plans for retirement.
Many of the manufacturing jobs that were lost in Mississippi are coming back in recent years, according to Jay Moon, president of the Mississippi Manufacturing Association and chairman of the State Workforce Investment Board. He warned, however, that if employees want to continue in the industry, they must be properly trained.
"As manufacturing becomes more technical, they need higher skill levels, and in many cases, it's simply not there," Moon said. "That's why we spend a lot of time finding the next generation of manufacturing workforce. But it's a good career path. We have a lot of expansion in the state, orders are picking up and things are looking a lot better than they were."
Many high schools are beginning to teach manufacturing to reach students early and give them the skills they need to take on the jobs of the future. Albany Business Review cited the case of Troy High School, which features a program that teaches manufacturing skills to students.