Manufacturing industry in need of more skilled workers

A report from the Senate found the manufacturing industry is lacking skilled workers.

The U.S. manufacturing industry has added more than 500,000 jobs since 2010 a recent report from the Senate stated. The Manufacturing Jobs for the Future report, which was released Dec. 17, also said exports among U.S. products has increased 38 percent over the past year.

The report was sponsored by Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and evaluates ways the manufacturing industry can improve the skills of workers and fix the infrastructure of several sectors. Klobuchar said the report is designed to help aid this growing American industry.

"America is a country that innovates, makes things and exports to the world, and manufacturing has long been an engine of economic growth and a key source of good jobs," Klobuchar said in a statement. "This report highlights immediate, bipartisan actions Congress can take to strengthen American manufacturing, from cutting red tape to increasing U.S. exports to boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and I will continue to work to move these initiatives forward so we can move our economy forward."

Profitable business
The report states that the manufacturing sector is one of the most profitable industries in the U.S., as it returns $1.48 for every $1 it spends. It also is responsible for 12 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Continual job growth
Jobs were another portion that was detailed in the report as more are being created each month. The U.S. manufacturing industry currently employs more than 12 million people and has continually added more employees over the last four months. All this overall growth is good news for workers and businesses. The report stated there has only been a 30 percent increase in jobs from October 2013 to November 2013 and the sector is severely lacking skilled workers.

Worker skills needs to be addressed
The lack of skilled workers has been a main concern for manufacturing businesses for some time. Kelly Travers, branch manger of ResourceMFC said in an interview with The Gainesville Times said that the shortage of skilled workers is stunting job growth.

"There is definitely a shortage of individuals that are qualified," Travers told The Gainesville Times. "The people that possess the skills that are in desire … are typically currently employed. So that makes it more challenging."

Throughout the entire country, nearly 600,000 high-skill jobs in the manufacturing industry are not filled, the report stated. The report offered a resolution saying that enrollment among technical education needs to increase and better skill teaching methods will help future generations improve the industry.

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