As employers across the country continue to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, many manufacturers face an ironic dilemma. As they eliminate positions—mainly repetitive, assembly-type jobs—they still have unfilled openings for high-skilled workers. In fact, nearly 1/3 of respondents to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, the Manufacturing Institute and Oracle report some level of shortages, and the problem is most acute within the aerospace, defense and life science sectors. Respondents also reported dissatisfaction with the skills of current employees.
In response, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) offers tools that help companies not only to facilitate necessary training, but also to identify particular areas of need. Available optionss from SME include industry credentials, such as a new Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate with Purdue University, a multi-level lean certification program and flexible corporate training. Corporate training includes standardized tests and other means to identify workforce knowledge gaps and facilitate the necessary training.
“Employers need to know their workers’ baseline knowledge so that they can determine what training and experience employees need to be more productive for the company,” says Kris Nasiatka, SME certification manager.