By Matt Paknis, Chief Development Officer, NJMEP
If you asked any New Jersey manufacturer to list the top ten challenges we face in our industry, I bet you that nearly every person would list the talent shortage at the top. Simply put, we need more skilled workers in manufacturing. It is estimated that over 2/3 of manufacturers face a severe shortage of qualified workers and more than half of manufacturers believe this problem will get worse.
Why is there such an extreme gap?
As a society, we have not done enough to attract the next generation of manufacturing employees. Studies suggest that less than a third of our country’s parents encourage their kids to go into manufacturing and less than 20 percent of students view manufacturing as a top career choice. Click here for more details.
For the manufacturing community, we find this extremely frustrating. We know that manufacturing offers diverse career opportunities and well-paying jobs. The reality is that the annual average salary of a manufacturing worker is $77k. The average annual salary of an entry-level manufacturing engineer is almost $60k. Manufacturing employees have the highest job tenure in the private sector and about 90% of workers in the field have medical benefits. Why doesn’t everyone realize this?
It’s time for our country’s youth to embrace manufacturing!
Experience Manufacturing Program
The Experience Manufacturing Program is a statewide program developed to introduce manufacturing to young adults. We want to create the next generation of manufacturing employees by exposing them to the benefits of working in our industry. The goal of the program is to:
- Help strengthen the employment pool for manufacturers and address the shortage of skilled workers available in our industry.
- Connect manufacturing companies in need of employees with young adults (ages 18-22) in search of career opportunities.
How does the process work?
Manufacturers fill out a submission form with their open positions and return it to NJMEP. Young adult job seekers from various arenas such as County Colleges, High Schools, Leadership and Mentoring Programs, Private Institutions, Scouts, STEM, Universities and Vo-Techs also fill out a submission form.
NJMEP serves as a bridge and sends the relevant job applicants to the manufacturers based on their needs. The rest of the process is between the manufacturer and job applicant.
There is no fee for this service.
Manufacturers interested in participating must have:
- Open positions to fill
- Willingness to hire and pay qualified young adults
- Desire to introduce young adults to the world of manufacturing
Job seekers interested in participating must:
- Express an interest in manufacturing
- Want to learn about the various career needs in the field
- Encompass a strong work ethic
- Have reliable transportation
For more information about Experience Manufacturing, click here or call Matt Paknis at 973-998-9801.