Manufacturing jobs have been hit hard in America. Severe job losses in this sector have occurred for years due to automation and outsourcing. There has been one segment of this field that has seen growth consistently even during the most recent recession. Employers are actually having difficulty filling positions in the skilled trades.
What makes these jobs different from other manufacturing positions is the skill set required. These are not low to medium skill level jobs that are vulnerable to outsourcing to cheap labor markets. These positions require a high level of technical expertise combined with scientific and mathematical knowledge. Examples of these positions include industrial welding, CNC machinist, and tool and dye workers. Companies have positions open in these fields but have a hard time filling them because applicants do not have the necessary skills. Some corporations like Siemeens are forming partnerships with training schools to attract candidates.
One concern that employers have in filling these jobs is the loss of older workers. As baby boomers retire with years of experience, finding qualified applicants to replace them is difficult. Students and younger workers are reluctant to enter into training programs in the manufacturing sector due to the belief that there are no opportunities in it. They do not want to put in months of education in a field where they believe there is no future. There will continue to be challenges in linking good candidates to these jobs.