Reshoring Is a Booming Trend for American Companies — Are There Enough Skilled Workers?

Reshoring Is a Booming Trend for American Companies — Are There Enough Skilled Workers?

Amidst the changing tides of global trade, a growing number of American companies are bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States, leading to the trend of reshoring. A recent survey revealed that more than half of American CEOs whose companies depend on manufacturing to produce and deliver their goods have plans to reshore their operations.

The recent wave of legislative reforms, including the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, have fueled the momentum of this reshoring trend in 2022. As companies prioritize supply chain resilience, this movement will gain further steam in 2023. However, there is one problem: a lack of skilled laborers in the United States to spearhead this transition.

The manufacturing industry faces an uphill battle in securing its future as it grapples with an aging workforce mainly consisting of Baby Boomers, many of who plan to retire by the end of 2025. This presents a critical challenge, as the industry desperately needs young, skilled workers to take on physically demanding jobs that form the sector's backbone.

A concern is that there are too few workers available to fill these roles, and those available often lack the enthusiasm to take on such demanding work. Even more alarming, the Manufacturing Institute has predicted that by 2025, there could be as many as two million unfilled manufacturing jobs, exacerbating an already serious shortage. This looming workforce gap calls for a proactive approach to tackling worker attraction and retention issues in the manufacturing sector.

How to Attract New Workers

While the manufacturing sector grapples with a severe shortage of skilled laborers, there is hope on the horizon in the form of Gen Z. They have already demonstrated a positive attitude towards manufacturing, and it is predicted that they will make up a significant segment of the manufacturing labor force in the not-too-distant future. However, a challenge remains in attracting and retaining these young workers.

To do so requires a concerted effort from industry leaders to offer better training, career development opportunities and a more modern work environment that meets the expectations of younger workers. By taking proactive steps to engage and empower the next generation of manufacturing workers, the industry can lay the foundation for a vibrant and sustainable future.

On-the-Job Training

Offering on-the-job training or internships can be a game-changer in drawing in young workers who may hesitate to apply for jobs due to a lack of experience or qualifications. By providing this training, companies can create a win-win situation — they gain skilled workers and help bridge the skills gap in the industry.

Creating a mini-trade school is another innovative approach that some companies are exploring. By training the next generation of manufacturing workers from the ground up, companies can establish a pipeline of talent that aligns with their specific processes and help streamline their workflow over time.

Visiting Area High Schools

Visiting local high schools and career fairs is a smart strategy to engage with young people and highlight the benefits of a career in manufacturing and the diverse opportunities available therein. Companies have the power to transform the perception of manufacturing jobs from low-skilled and undesirable work to a viable and respectable career path that offers meaningful work, competitive wages and opportunities for career growth.

Career Development

Companies need to show that they value career development and professional growth to attract and retain a younger workforce. Offering tuition assistance for low-level manufacturing workers who aspire to climb the company ladder is a powerful way to achieve this. Companies can also provide onsite management classes or professional skills classes that equip workers with the tools and knowledge they need to advance in their careers.

By providing these opportunities, companies can help employees grow professionally and show them that there is a clear path for career advancement within the organization. This, in turn, fosters a sense of loyalty among employees and helps to build a strong and engaged workforce.

Embrace Technology

As the first truly digital-native generation, Gen Z possesses a natural comfort with technology that sets them apart from previous generations. This is especially relevant in the manufacturing sector, where automation and artificial intelligence are transforming the way work is done. For Gen Z, this is an exciting opportunity to become familiar with new technologies that increase efficiency, reduce waste and improve product quality, which can profoundly impact both the bottom line and the planet.

How to Retain Your Employees

Once a company has successfully attracted new workers, the challenge becomes retaining them over the long term. Creating a culture that prioritizes work-life balance and flexibility is essential to achieve this. Companies should consider, paid time off and other benefits that enable employees to balance work commitments with their personal lives. Increasing the pool of hires can allow for greater levels of flexibility. Investing in upskilling; providing professional development opportunities; and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion can help employees feel valued and supported in their roles.

To further promote a culture of employee engagement and retention, companies should encourage a positive and respectful work environment where everyone is valued and supported. Providing ongoing feedback, recognizing employee accomplishments, and fostering an inclusive workplace culture are critical components of this approach. By promoting a sense of belonging and encouraging employees to grow professionally at their own pace, companies can inspire loyalty and commitment among their workforce.


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Reshoring Is a Booming Trend for American Companies — Are There Enough Skilled Workers?https://www.cbiz.com/Portals/0/Images/Hero-Reshoring.jpg?ver=ZsvkKYI6jRXg0UOrlzUEHQ%3d%3dhttps://www.cbiz.com/Portals/0/Images/Thumbnail-Reshoring-1.jpg?ver=-jQ59oKgaGv6rRjiOaG0Cw%3d%3dAmidst the changing tides of global trade, a growing number of American companies are bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States, leading to the trend of reshoring. 2023-03-14T17:00:00-05:00

Amidst the changing tides of global trade, a growing number of American companies are bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States, leading to the trend of reshoring.

Employee ManagementManufacturing & DistributionTalent Acquisition/RecruitmentDigital TransformationYes