According to a study released in 2009 by Deloitte, the Manufacturing Institute and Oracle revealed that nearly a third of companies were experiencing a modest to severe shortage. Gaps in such skills as problem-solving and communication also were noted in the study.

This doesn’t seem to add up vs. the job market; however, it appears as though there is a shortage in the high-skilled jobs. As lower skilled jobs are outsourced to other countries, there is a greater supply of lower-skilled workers yet a higher need for the high-skilled jobs (which are typically the ones required to integrate with the outsourced suppliers etc). Thomas A. Kochan, professor of management at MIT says the basic problem is that U.S. manufacturing never has developed a close community of private industry and technical schools in any systematic way, although pockets of success exist.

Training is required to address the skills challenge – and keep U.S. manufacturing competitive. Nearly two-thirds of Industry Week’s Best Plants winners and finalists over the past five years have partnered with local educational institutions to obtain training.

I’m President of the APICS (Association of Operations Management) Inland Empire Chapter, and one of our core missions is to provide practical education on manufacturing and supply chain topics. We offer certifications which are highly respected – and downright inexpensive vs. the other options available. For more information about our courses, please visit our website: click here

With that said, I completely concur with University of Tennessee’s Parke’s statement in Industry Week – “Training that brings the most success to manufacturers is integrated into a company’s strategic plan,” not a bolt-on,” and has overt commitment from leadership.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, as I find that training often becomes a waste of money without this vision.