Lack of labor and talent is the number one growth inhibitor for American manufacturers, according to the 2018 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights report compiled by EKS&H and the Leading Edge Alliance. In fact, I know manufacturers who have turned down orders due to lack of skilled workers. Here in Colorado, where the unemployment rate is hovering around 2 percent, many manufacturers have resorted to poaching talent from neighboring manufacturers or hiring from out of state. Both practices are inflationary and detrimental to our industry. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. reports that recruiting, hiring and training cost Colorado businesses $24,000 for each in-state employee, a price that is expected to escalate at the rate of 21 percent over the next five years.
Workforce problems are compounded because our current system of career, technical education and middle-skills training has a sustainability problem. Schools rarely have the funding to acquire the state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment used by our industry today. Moreover, they often stuggle to keep curiculucm current with the…(READ MORE on mmsonline.com)