Missouri manufacturers take active role to engage the next generation of workers in opportunities in manufacturing
In conjunction with the celebration of Manufacturing Day 2015, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry announces a new partnership with the Manufacturing Institute to facilitate the Dream It. Do It. program in Missouri.
Established in 2005, Dream It. Do It. is a national, grassroots effort aimed at raising the perception of manufacturing jobs and recruiting the next generation manufacturing workforce. The program is provided by the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of National Association of Manufacturing. Through this partnership, the Missouri Chamber will promote and facilitate activities that increase awareness of the abundant opportunities in manufacturing and technology fields.
“In Missouri, there is a serious shortage of workers to fill the high tech, good paying jobs that manufacturing provides,” said Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Our state’s manufacturers have the job openings, but can’t find the workers qualified to fill these positions. Through our partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, the Missouri Chamber is committing to our manufacturers to help narrow the skills gap and keep our manufacturing operations going strong.”
According to a Gallup survey of more than 1,000 Missouri employers conducted by the Missouri Chamber Foundation earlier this year, only 15 percent of Missouri business owners believe that high schools are preparing students for the workforce.
This skills deficit is especially acute in the manufacturing sector. According to a Deloitte Skills Gap study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, 84 percent of executives agree there is a talent shortage in U.S. manufacturing and six out of ten open skilled production positions are unfilled due to talent shortage. Despite the fact that 80 percent of manufacturers are willing to pay more than the market rates, these jobs are going unfilled, the survey cited.
Workforce development is a key driver in the Missouri Chamber’s strategic plan, Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead. The addition of the proven Dream It. Do It. program to the Missouri Chamber’s education outreach programs is an integral part of the organization’s strategic plan.
“It will take a coordinated effort to make students more aware of manufacturing careers, and the Missouri Chamber is anxious to get to work to match up qualified workers with fulfilling, good-paying jobs,” Mehan said.
In addition to Manufacturing Day events, the Missouri Chamber is partnering with Troy manufacturing facility, Toyota-Bodine Manufacturing, to launch a video contest for students at local schools: Elsberry R-2, Lincoln County, R-3, Winfield R-4, and Silex R-1. Students will create videos of local manufacturing facilities. The students will highlight “What’s cool about manufacturing” and will compete for the most “likes” on YouTube. Participating schools are receiving GoPro cameras, software and coaching through funding from Toyota USA funds.