The skills gap issue is not new to the U.S. manufacturing industry. Several prior studies confirm manufacturing executives are concerned about attracting, training, and retaining talent to drive innovation and growth agendas in their organizations. The sentiment remains the same today. The 2015 study reveals an overwhelming majority (84 percent) of executives agree there is a talent shortage in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Not only is there a shortage today, but research results indicate there is a more pressing, longer term issue confronting manufacturers. The skills gap is widening, and over the next decade, 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed. In addition, an estimated 60 percent of these positions are likely to be unfilled due to the talent shortage. As a result, only 1.4 million out of 3.4 million positions are expected to be filled, implying that the U.S. manufacturing sector is likely to suffer a shortfall of 2 million workers over the next decade.