Manufacturing jobs may increase despite perceptions the industry is leaving the U.S. for other countries, Forbes reported. Additionally, as manufacturing grows in the U.S., many will be turning to outsourcing as a way for manufacturers to get the help they need to continue pushing out products.
Currently, whether or not the industry develops, it is already facing a shortage of skilled workers. This is as true in Wisconsin, according to the Post Crescent, as it is in Oregon, as reported by NBC-affiliate KGW Portland.
The problem is that many people don't know that manufacturing is a great business to be in right now, according to John Stransky, president of Warn Industries.
"I think people have heard that technology or health care are great fields to go into and, as a result, haven't gone into manufacturing," said Stransky. "As a result there are a number of manufacturing jobs at Warn Industries now but actually in other parts of Portland as well."
An additional factor, Stranksy said, according to KGW, is that many in the industry are retiring, and groups like Gen. X and millennials are not taking over the spots that are being left.
Manufacturing is a good line of work that pays well and offers salaries competitive with those positions that require a college education. In fact, there is very little not to like about the jobs, most of which can be taken by people who have only received a degree from a trade school, and some of which don't require any training at all.
"You can make a very comfortable living with good benefits by working in manufacturing," said Stephen Kohler, director of HR for Pierce Manufacturing, according to the Post Crescent. "It's great to pursue additional education, but get in, get a work ethic, and work part time on your education. Many companies like ours will even pay for it. Oshkosh Corporation (Pierce's parent company) makes $10,000 per year available to every employee for continuing education.
How to boost manufacturing in the U.S.
Even though there are so many vacant manufacturing positions, there has still been a decrease in the number of jobs that used to exist. Forbes cited in 1979 there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs, but now there are only 12.2 million in the same category.
The best way to bring jobs back to the U.S., it would seem, involves reducing government taxes and creating more incentives for working in this country versus another. One advantage that other locations have right now is that many of them have people who really want to work in the manufacturing industry, while it is becoming a much less popular profession in the U.S. despite being so lucrative.
Another solution might be to create outsourcing programs for the manufacturing business. This way there would be a steady supply of well-trained temp workers who would assist businesses that haven't been able to hire workers on a full-time basis, either because of the cost or difficulties associates with finding the right workers with suitable training.
Fox News predicted that in the future, most jobs will actually be outsourced. The goal would be to have companies operate as centralized hubs, with all of the other functions being done through outsourcing. This includes HR and other lines of work.
Other changes to the business world
One industry that might be taking many manufacturing jobs is the technology sector which continues to grow. It is possible that as the tech sector becomes a more lucrative place for earning money, companies will reinvest some of that cash into building technologically-advanced products right in the U.S. This would benefit both industries, which both require people who know how to program and operate computers.