A case study titled “Manufacturing and Mature Economies: A Model for Workforce Solutions” by Rob Luce, Vice President of the SME Education Foundation, is included in the 2019 World Manufacturing Forum Report. The case study focuses on the manufacturing skills gap facing developed nations like the United States and the increasing shortage of qualified, skilled and motivated workers threatening the industry at-large. The shortage is cause for concern, but also an opportunity for the manufacturing to take action and meet workforce development challenges through strategic initiatives like SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education).
The SME PRIME initiative works at the local level, bringing together a community of manufacturers with a shared goal: to enhance the manufacturing workforce talent through building tailored curriculums at high schools in their local communities.
Through SME PRIME, high school students access training and curriculum on manufacturing equipment, technology and processes.
The 2019 World Manufacturing Forum Report discusses the most important themes affecting the manufacturing industry by offering 10 key recommendations that focus on workforce skills development, which was a key recommendation identified in the 2018 report.
One of the aspects affecting workforce skills development within manufacturing is a need to combat misperceptions affecting the growth of the industry.
“Manufacturing is not a dark, dull, dying industry. It’s a lucrative industry if you have the right skill set.”
There could be as many as 2.4 million manufacturing positions available in the next decade. It’s imperative that manufacturing workforce skills development begin as early as possible for next generation manufacturing workers. That’s why the SME PRIME initiative is crucial to the success of the manufacturing industry. Providing opportunity and creating awareness of that opportunity attracts future workers -- and SME PRIME will develop those workers and enhance the talent pipeline at the same time.