by Rachel Duran
In December the Institute for Supply Management released its Semiannual Economic Forecast, and according to the nation’s purchasing and supply management executives, the manufacturing sector will continue to grow in 2022.
- Revenues are expected to increase by 6.5 percent: 65 percent of the survey’s respondents expected revenues to be greater than in 2021.
- Fifteen of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed expected revenue improvement: fabricated metal products came in with the fourth-largest projected increase.
- Capital expenditures are projected to increase by 7.7 percent over 2021, compared to the 12.1 percent increase reported for 2021 over 2020.
- Respondents reported operating at 88.7 percent of their normal capacity, up 0.4 percentage point from the 88.3 percent reported in May 2021.
- Of the 14 industries that predicted increases in employment numbers this year, the fabricated metal products sector was No. 2.
Have the Jobs, Need the Workers
Manufacturers in the United States need to fill 4 million jobs by 2030, according to a report by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. Manufacturers, including fabrication and metalworking companies, are connecting with partners to make the most of creative and innovative pathways to fill these positions. They are building long-term strategies to upskill both new and incumbent workers. And they are embracing what it takes to attract and engage the next generation of workers.
This includes utilizing a variety of training programs to assist in the process. The Manufacturing Institute has several initiatives underway including Heroes MAKE America, focused on training former military members; and Creators Wanted, a campaign to inspire, educate and empower a new generation of creators. The institute is the workforce development and education nonprofit partner of the National Association of Manufacturers.
When it comes to onsite training efforts apprenticeship opportunities are proven methods to attract future workers. In Wisconsin, Creative Metal Products Inc. in Neenah typically hosts three or four youth apprentices per year and has a strong success rate in hiring students after the program. Waukesha Metal Products in metro Milwaukee offers two locations for apprentice training. The company manufactures metal products for the automotive and medical industries, among others.
The companies participate in GPS Education Partners’ (GPSEd) youth apprenticeship program. The program focuses on training high school juniors and seniors. GPSEd, Waukesha, Wis., provides the full educational experience for students through its programming. A key part of the program’s success are the relationships formed between mentors and students. An important aspect is for companies to identify people on the shop floor who are open to working with students and to sharing their knowledge with the next generation.
Businesses are rewarded with a future talent pool, as well as the opportunity to give back to their communities. “We hear from our business partners that mentors enjoy seeing a young person thrive and who will hopefully embark on the career they have been involved in for years,” said Jeremy Joecks, director of partner services, GPSEd. “They see the future is bright”.
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