Georgetown University explores the current skills gap in the manufacturing sector

A new study from researchers at Georgetown University and The Generations Initiative explores the issue of the current skills gap that plagues the manufacturing and technology industries.

Since 1980, there's been a shift in the type of labor open to adults entering the workforce and the secondary education and training required for the positions. The traditional path from school to work to retirement has changed and no longer applies to a large amount of adults in the U.S., according to the report. Now, young adults are beginning their careers later in life and go through phases of working and additional education. The rate of young adults participating in the labor force is at its lowest since 1972.

To diminish the skills gap, the researchers found young adults need to mix work and education earlier to begin a full-time career sooner. There also needs to be an increase in productivity received from the education and training systems and a greater degree of alignment between education and training and the awaiting labor market.

Some states, like Louisiana, recognize the need for training that is directly related to the available positions in the workforce, according to Area Development. Louisiana's legislature authorized more than $250 million in workforce-related projects at community and technical colleges in the state in 2013. The investment is funding a $20 million training center at southwest Louisiana Technical Community College, which will help adults in the community land positions in the industrial, oil and gas and technical fields, Area Development reported.

If companies are struggling to find workers with the right training and skills set, they should partner with manufacturing recruiters. Working with recruiters enables a business to bridge the gap between their open positions and candidates with the right education and training.