Manufacturing Workforce Certifications Will Help to Close the Skills Gap

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Promoting the pursuit of in-demand manufacturing certifications will result in a win-win situation for both the manufacturer and the community in which it chooses to locate.

Manufacturers who are currently seeking to locate a new facility in a community have a number of major considerations. To be sure, utilities, local business climate, and incentives figure prominently in the site selection decision. But more and more, the availability of an adequate workforce to man the new operation is key to the community’s attractiveness and the new facility’s potential for success down the line.

Today, recruiting and keeping skilled talent in manufacturing is a daunting challenge. The sector suffers from a skills gap as mature manufacturing workers are retiring, and the numbers of younger workers necessary to fill the empty positions — workers with the proper skills to do the job in today’s high-tech operations — have not kept up. 

Compounding the skills gap is the perception among young people — and those that guide them — that manufacturing facilities are dark, dirty, and dangerous rust-belt dungeons of days gone by. These individuals are unfortunately unaware of the fact that most forward-thinking manufacturing facilities are clean, bright, efficient workplaces that use some of the most cutting-edge technological advances available — and offer some of the best career opportunities around today for bright young people willing to work hard.

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"On behalf of the officers and directors of the Economic Development Alliance, I want to thank you and your staff for the great job NCDS did in helping restructure the Alliance, and for successful management of the fundraising campaign that fully funded our five-year action plan. The NCDS process and format delivered exactly what you said it would do when you met with Alliance members over eighteen months ago. The NCDS process engaged top regional private and public sector leaders and attracted financial support from large and small companies and communities throughout the region."

Brian Ferguson, Chairman & CEO (Retired) • Eastman Chemical Company

National Community Development Services, Inc.
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