October is Manufacturing Month…so let’s take a look at the skilled trades sector. It has changed a lot in recent years – not only in CT, but throughout the U.S. The biggest factor impacting this market is the shortage of workers who are equipped to take on the skilled trade jobs that are such an integral part of the nation’s economic well-being.
The skills gap has been widening for years, but trends are now converging to create the perfect storm:
- Advanced Technology. The tools and technologies used on today’s shop floors are evolving rapidly. Manufacturers need more skilled workers – toolmakers, welders, electronic technicians – than the country is currently producing.
- Less Training. Many manufacturers aren’t training their workforces like they used to. It takes a lot of time and money to properly train new workers, and the payoff is uncertain because many workers don’t stay with one employer as long as they once did.
- A Retiring Workforce. The majority of today’s skilled technicians are in their fifties or sixties and ready to retire.
The skilled labor shortage in CT is very real. In fact, a 2013 article published on Forbes.com ranked CT in the #1 spot for having the biggest looming skilled labor shortage. So what is CT doing to help fill the skills gap plaguing our manufacturers?
The skilled labor shortage in CT is very real. In fact, a 2013 article published on Forbes.com ranked CT in the #1 spot for having the biggest looming skilled labor shortage.
In another article published late last year by the Hartford Business Journal, Robert Sobolewski, President & CEO of ebm-papst, a CT manufacturer or fans and blowers, shared some of the steps our state has taken to help ease the workforce woes in the skilled trades sector:
- Many manufacturers are training existing workers to replace the job vacancies left by retirees.
- State technical high schools are collaborating with different industries to develop and deploy state-wide curriculum and trade programs. These programs help employers better understand the skill levels of the new hires they recruit.
- Advanced manufacturing centers that are part of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system (CSCU) offer a one-year Advanced Manufacturing Certificate program (more on that here).
It’s clear that finding the best skilled trades candidates in CT is an HR challenge that won’t go away anytime soon. The A.R. Mazzotta team has the experience, resources and processes – like skills assessments to verify candidates’ abilities – to help HR managers hire the best talent for their organization. Our newly opened office in Watertown focuses on staffing for the manufacturing industry. Contact us to learn more.