In 2013, The Manufacturing Institute in partnership with participants from the 2013 CGI America Manufacturing Working Group committed to build Framework for Action, a best practice guide that will define a national approach to Rebrand, Rebuild, and Restructure the manufacturing workforce pipeline. The Framework will connect best practices in image, quality education, and policy that succeed in connecting individuals to careers in manufacturing with the ultimate goal of reaching scale. The commitment is designed to reduce redundancies and highlight best practices from across the nation to accelerate action by industry, educators, and policy leaders to close the manufacturing skills gap.
Ultimately, the connection between an individual, a training organization, and an employer is a very local connection as communities often tackle single issues from scratch. This Framework would allow practitioners to draw from best practices nationally by providing a toolkit of information that defines what is meant by public-private partnerships, recommends appropriate roles for all partners involved, and identifies key policy implications to support adoption and replication in manufacturing communities across the nation. It will link disconnected efforts in both the public and private sectors by creating a common roadmap for action, including career awareness efforts, training efforts, company hiring practices, and policies that enable and support connecting job seekers to careers.
Over the next year, the network of partners will a document of action that will guide leaders in designing policy that supports a quality manufacturing workforce; steers educators in designing quality training programs; and helps companies develop community-based strategies to build a manufacturing workforce pipeline. The Framework will be a live document with opportunity for communities, individuals, and companies to contribute. In early 2014, the network will host a policy roundtable that will bring together leaders from across the country representing industry, education, and government to showcase and support the development of action plans to move forward the national Framework with the goal to have champions in a minimum of four states or communities move the Framework forward.
The network of partners developed a -phased approach to action:
Framework: Develop the guiding document for action
Asset Inventory: Inventory best practices against the framework
Document Results: Document results to the local action
Improve and Replicate: Promote success at the community level
This commitment centers on the first phase of the approach, Framework Development. Future commitments will be developed by communities in order to promote the three other phases.
Develop the Framework
9/30/13 to 10/28/13: Produce Initial Plan of Work
12/31/13: Finalize draft Framework and Commitment
Early 2014: Host National Policy Roundtable
From 2010 through January 2013, U.S. manufacturing employment has increased by almost 500,000 jobs, as factory payrolls have grown from 11.46 million to 11.95 million. The expansion in manufacturing employment has played a critical role in helping to support and strengthen the overall economy as it has emerged from the 2009 recession.
According to U.S. manufacturing executives, a skilled, educated workforce is the single most critical element of innovation success, but the hardest asset to acquire. For decades manufacturers and individual organizations have invested in individual or local solutions to solve a single component of the skills gap challenge. From career awareness to individual academies the local solutions are effective but struggle with scalability.
There is ample evidence that manufacturing has been at the forefront of the economic recovery but to remain competitive and grow we face a number of challenges. First, the America workforce is graying and shrinking due to demographics.- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the percentage of manufacturing workers aged 55-64 years old and the share of workers older than 65 have increased since 2000. Second, technological advances require more advanced skillsets in today's manufacturing economy. Third, major deficits in our education system hamper U.S. competitiveness on the world stage as80% of our nation's manufacturers report difficulty in finding qualified workers. Each open job has a direct impact of $461,509 in manufacturing output, and based on the multiplier effect, if every open job were filled, we would create an additional 406,441 in support industries.