The concern around manufacturing talent began decades ago, when the post-WWII boom in U.S. manufacturing brought about a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills shortage. Since then, the industry has only become more complicated.
In fact, we have entered a new manufacturing skills era with two major trends running on parallel tracks. First, we are seeing aggressive pushes to upskill traditional line workers through a variety of ways with a greater emphasis on embracing digital manufacturing as automation relentlessly takes on human tasks that are repetitive, onerous and even dangerous. At the same time, manufacturers are in hot pursuit of highly trained professionals (computer coders, app developers, data scientists, 3D printing specialists) to bring digital manufacturing from its current incipient stage to more mature levels over the next decade.