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How Manufacturing Day Is Helping Combat the Labor Shortage

September 19, 2019

Production line worker keeping track of the process on a computer

The manufacturing industry is facing a labor shortage. The jobs are there, but manufacturers are having trouble filling them with young, skilled talent due to some common misconceptions about the industry.

In 2012, Manufacturing Day was created to combat these misconceptions.

Manufacturing Day—also known as MFG DAY—gives manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors and show what it’s really like to work in manufacturing.

As a technology provider for the manufacturing industry, Epicor is taking an active role in reversing the labor shortage by sponsoring MFG DAY 2019 on October 4. By exposing younger generations to manufacturing, we can eliminate the stigma attached to the industry and start filling those open jobs.

Learn more about MFG DAY and the labor shortage by visiting or checking out any of the below articles:

How We Got Here

According to a 2018 Deloitte study, manufacturing job opportunities have been growing at a double-digit rate since mid-2017. The problem isn’t that the jobs aren’t there. The problem is that there aren’t enough skilled employees to take them.

For decades, Baby Boomers dominated the industry. But Boomers are retiring in droves, and younger generations—namely Millennials—aren’t filling the gaps.

Not only that, but new technologies and the onset of Industry 4.0 are also dramatically altering the manufacturing sector. As these new technologies are implemented in factories around the world, manufacturers are looking for tech-savvy workers to help run their systems.

Millennials are the obvious choice. However, they have different, specific needs when it comes to potential employment, and they’re not afraid to “shop around” until they find exactly what they’re looking for.

What Can Be Done

The incoming generation of workers have never known life without computers or the Internet. Gen Z—the generation comprising recent college graduates and younger—has been using smartphones since they were children. Technology is ingrained in everything they do, so manufacturers would be wise to leverage that technology to make the industry more appealing.

Millennials and Gen Zers also like to stay on the cutting edge of technology. They want to be able to use systems like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies because they often already use them in some form or another in their day-to-day lives.

The positive effect technology can have on recruiting isn’t a new concept. A recent poll indicated 85% of executives believe AI gives their companies a competitive advantage.

85% of executives believe AI gives their companies a competitive advantage.

However, it’s not enough for manufacturers to embrace technology. They must also champion it. Those that do so will be in a better position to attract young, skilled talent.

How Epicor Can Help

It’s estimated that the labor shortage in the manufacturing industry will leave about 2.4 million positions unfilled until 2028. This could negatively impact the economy to the tune of $2.5 trillion.

That’s why it’s so important to break the cycle of misinformation when it comes to manufacturing careers. A recent survey found that just 67% of parents would encourage their children to learn more about job opportunities in manufacturing. That number needs to increase.

By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers can begin to address the skilled labor shortage, connect with future generations, change the public image, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.