A new report from MFG.com (Atlanta, Georgia) indicates that the lack of skilled machinists could be preventing American manufacturers from taking advantage of industrial growth spurred in part by increased amounts of work coming back to the United States.
The “Job Shop Health & Capacity Report,” released in April, surveyed more than 250 U.S. job shops. More than 40 percent of those surveyed reported obtaining a new contract that was previously sourced to a foreign supplier. However, sourcing professionals report that although they want to reshore more work, they are having difficulty finding high-quality suppliers with capacity, especially in areas hit hard by offshoring, says Mitch Free, manufacturing analyst and CEO of MFG.com.
Mr. Free says trade schools should revive training programs to address the shortage, and job shops should re-introduce the apprentice program. Also, noting that more than 80 percent of job shops receive little or no business from abroad, he says job shops need to attract more foreign customers because depending solely on the U.S. market and economy going forward is risky. Finally, job shops need to become savvier marketers to attract new business.