Study: US manufacturers face shortfall of 2.4 million workers; Washington’s Core Plus program addresses challenge here

The skills gap continues to threaten U.S. economic growth. A new study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute finds, 

As growth in the US economy continues and manufacturers create more and more jobs in a thriving sector, the industry’s pre-existing workforce crisis could get even worse according to a new 2018 skills gap study, released today by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute — the social impact arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The widening manufacturing skills gap is expected to grow from about 488,000 jobs left open today to as many as 2.4 million manufacturing jobs going unfilled between this year and 2028 (compared with 2 million jobs between 2015 and 2025 per our earlier study). In turn, $454 billion in manufacturing GDP could be at risk in 2028, or more than $2.5 trillion over the next decade.

The press release continues,

Five out of 10 open positions for skilled workers in the US manufacturing industry remain unoccupied today due to the skills gap crisis. These “skilled positions” require specific training or skillsets and often take months to fill. These include positions for skilled production workers, supply chain talent, digital talent, engineers, researchers, scientists, software engineers and operational managers.

We’ve discussed the skills gap here, noting the 740,000 great jobs being created in the coming years, including expanding opportunities in aerospace. Our 2017 foundation report said,

Increasingly, the majority of jobs in Washington will be filled by workers with a postsecondary credential (such as a technical or industry certificate, apprenticeship, or degree). Today, just 31 percent of Washington high school students go on to attain such a credential by the age of 26. The mismatch between workforce readiness and job openings hampers our collective ability to take advantage of the potential economic growth that lies ahead.

Preparing more Washington kids for Washington jobs requires a cradle-to-career approach to raising student achievement.

In our state, Core Plus Aerospace advances that goal.

Core Plus is a two-year high school manufacturing curriculum that is backed by industry and prepares students through hands-on learning. The first year provides a foundation in manufacturing. The second includes industry-specific courses, such as in aerospace. The program also prepares students with important real-world skills like team work and responsibility. No matter their pathway, Core Plus students graduate high school ready for a career or college and life.

Core Plus is available in nearly 40 public high schools and skills centers across Washington. More programs are launching every semester.

Watch the video for more information about this exciting program.

The latest research from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute makes clear the opportunities being created by an expanding manufacturing sector and a growing economy. It also underscores what’s at stake if the skills gap is left unaddressed. We commend Core Plus for successfully addressing the challenge.