Sunday, September 11, 2016

As Skill Requirements Increase, More Manufacturing Jobs Go Unfilled

Number of open positions highest in 15 years, with many workers not possessing skills to do today’s jobs
Sept. 1, 2016 8:41 a.m. ET

Blog by Arbie Lopez-Cazares

In global marketing we often talk about the effects of globalization. One of the negative effects is loss of jobs due to outsourcing or advances in technology. I chose this article because it addresses this very issue but also highlights the long-term ramifications of outsourcing in the home country. Many unskilled factory workers have lost their jobs due to the cost savings companies incur by outsourcing to low-wage countries. Low-wage jobs are becoming a thing of the past in the US and a new era of higher skilled factory jobs has replaced them. According to this article, there is a plethora of factory jobs available but a lack of skilled workers to fill them. The article goes on to state that the amount of high-skilled factory jobs has increased over the past 15 years due to companies investing in more technologically complex machinery.  Since 2009 alone, the amount of factory jobs has almost tripled. The consequence of not finding skilled factory workers is lower return on investment and a damper to the company’s bottom line. There is a flood of unskilled labor workers in the market and younger people are obtaining higher degrees because they know it will provide them with job security. In the middle of all this is a new market for skilled factory workers that is lacking because colleges and high-schools have focused less on technical education. There is a gap that companies and schools must strategically learn how to fill. Since factory jobs are becoming more high-tech, it gives factory workers the advantage they have been looking for over having their jobs outsourced.  The challenge will be providing the necessary training needed to do these jobs and factory workers have to have the motivation to want to invest time to learn new skills. In order to attract skilled workers, companies are offering higher wages, apprenticeships, field trips to factories and partnering with schools to promote programs that focus on specific trades. Labor workers must capitalize on the opportunities to become more skilled in their trade since skilled workers are in high demand and there is low supply.


  1. Very good article and clearly explains the importance of vocational training or career-technical education. If the U.S. is going to maintain its manufacturing competitiveness while also narrowing the income gap, there must be a return to the concept of workplace apprenticeships for high school students and career-technical school. We are performing a disservice to students if we continue with education that is geared toward a “one size fits all” notion. Not enough attention is being given to the individuality of each student. Some students are mechanical and technical, while others are artistic or focus best in a lecture hall or classroom. Providing students with more technical project based learning in high school will allow individuals to hone in on skills that can then be utilized in the future while providing them with more career choices limited only by one’s desire to learn. Ally Montillo

  2. As Ally mentioned, the one size fit all is not the best type of education available... But the issue is more about the availability of this type of school focusing on technical skills. And above all, nowadays it seems that everybody is brainwashed believing that the type of education system we have is the best.