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Boiling Point? The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing

Does manufacturing have the talent it needs to perform in the global marketplace?


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The past year has shown a renewed attention to the future of the manufacturing industry in the United States. In the media, in online conversations, and in person, people are wondering whether the U.S. has what it takes to compete, and whether we can and should rededicate ourselves to strengthening the manufacturing sector in the face of increased global competition and persistent economic challenges.

Year after year, studies continue to show that Americans remain stalwart in their support of a strong manufacturing industry. 

Our own recent joint study on U.S. public opinions of manufacturing found that throughout one of the most turbulent periods in U.S. economic history, public views on the importance of manufacturing - both in terms of its role in the U.S. economy and its function as a job creation engine - have remained strong.

As many U.S. manufacturers look to regain momentum, they will likely face some well-documented challenges. 

Not least among these is the issue of talent. 

This is not new - for years, manufacturers have reported a significant gap between the talent they need to keep growing their businesses and what they can actually find. 

Boiling point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing

Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute have renewed the Skills Gap study, conducted in July and August, 2011, seeking to answer several important questions about the nature of the skills and talent gaps in manufacturing today:

  • What impact is the skills gap having on company performance?
  • Although the skills gap issue isn't new, how is it evolving in the face of continued economic and competitive challenges? Which manufacturing jobs are being affected the most?
  • What does the future of talent look like? What upcoming trends are companies preparing for today? How fast are these changes happening?

It's not just that manufacturers are concerned about talent today. This has been a serious issue for years, which begs the question of what must be done differently in order to achieve the right results. 

For manufacturers, the skills gap is an issue that has reached its boiling point.

This Skills Gap report is the first of a series of studies that will examine these issues and more. To learn more and take a closer look at the important study findings, download the report, Boiling point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing, below.

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