Manufacturers must manage a daunting number of priorities on a daily basis, including, but not limited to: inventory management, quality assurance and operational efficiency. However, one of the most commonly overlooked challenges that manufacturers face today is that of workforce development. Maintaining a strong pipeline of certified, properly trained employees will not only benefit all other aspects of operations, but will ensure that the company has a better chance to continue to grow and recruit top talent long into the future.

Some local manufacturers have taken time to establish customized programs with local educational institutions, such as Cincinnati State and Gateway Community and Technical College, to create customized training programs that introduce students as early high school to opportunities in manufacturing that will advance their careers faster by offering them certifications they need in high-tech manufacturing environments. Associations dedicated to improving the workforce like REDI Cincinnati and the Tri-State Tooling and Manufacturing Association also work with local manufacturers to help guide students to these opportunities.

Manufacturers also need to be aware of events like Manufacturing Day, which fell on October 2nd this year, where local companies open their doors to high school and college students to educate them about careers in modern manufacturing, and the increasing opportunities afforded to those who have the education and skills needed to work in the industry.

In May of 2015, Barnes Dennig hosted a roundtable outlining the results returned by our latest Manufacturing Compensation & Benefits Benchmarking Study. A panel of manufacturing leaders took the stage to answer questions on a wide range of topics, including workforce development. A panelist, and leader of a local manufacturing organization, specifically referenced his company’s specialized program with a local educational institution, which not only allows a candidate to work part time at the company, but also pays for his or her education and certifications, leading into a full-time career opportunity. He also noted that specialized programs like these are not uncommon, and as the gap between skilled laborers and manufacturing jobs persists, educational institutions are eager to work with manufacturers to continue to find ways to prepare students for careers.

Barnes Dennig is committed to helping provide resources to local manufacturers which will help them continue to grow in a tumultuous economy. To request a copy of the 2015 Manufacturing Compensation & Benefits Benchmarking Study, or to request an audio recording of the panel, let us know here.