Manufacturing Jobs and Returning Veterans - eMaint

Manufacturing Jobs and Returning Veterans

Manufacturing Jobs and Returning Veterans2018-07-23T16:36:25+00:00

Project Description

In the 2011 Skills Gap study conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute of over 1,100 manufacturing executives, 83% reported a moderate to severe shortage of skilled production workers and expect this shortage to worsen over the next three to five years. The survey found that 5% of current jobs at those manufacturers who responded to the survey were unfilled due to insufficient qualified applicants. That translates to roughly 600,000 jobs that are going unfilled, despite the 12.5 million Americans out of work, as of July 2012.

The Demand: The State of the Manufacturing Union

In the 2011 Skills Gap study conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute of over 1,100 manufacturing executives, 83% reported a moderate to severe shortage of skilled production workers and expect this shortage to worsen over the next three to five years. The survey found that 5% of current jobs at those manufacturers who responded to the survey were unfilled due to insufficient qualified applicants. That translates to roughly 600,000 jobs that are going unfilled, despite the 12.5 million Americans out of work, as of July 2012.

The consequences of this on the industry are acutely disruptive. U.S. manufacturing has grown (Q1 2012) by 9.1% versus 1.8% for the total economy, escalating the need to clear the recruitment pipeline and rapidly bring in employees who can support the industry’s growth. In the absence of those employees, manufacturing’s growth could begin to regress. 51% of the manufacturers who responded to the Deloitte study reported difficulty in meeting consumer demand for production, 35% reported difficulty in achieving production targets, 27% reported difficulty in new product development and innovation, 24% reported difficulty implementing new technology, and 20% struggled to implement quality improvement processes, as a result of labour shortages. Furthermore, labour shortages in skilled production jobs (e.g., machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors, and technicians) and production support positions (e.g., industrial engineers, manufacturing engineers, planners, etc.) are adversely affecting their company’s ability to expand operations and improve productivity, according to 74% and 42% of the manufacturers who responded, respectively.

The Supply: Veterans in the Labor Market

According to the Deloitte report, nearly 1,000 multinational corporations have established their European base in Ireland. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device makers, information communications technology (ICT) providers, and financial services, are leaders of FDI in Ireland. The incentives for these companies are numerous and extend far beyond the highly attractive 12.5% corporate tax rate. Of foreign companies in Ireland, U.S. companies comprise a significant portion: 600 U.S. companies currently operate in Ireland and employ 100,000 workers, according to a report by ‘60 Minutes’. Moreover, the U.S. paid 33% (or one-third) of Ireland’s total corporate tax, according to the Deloitte report, over the past 10 years.

A Package Deal

As of 2011, there were 21.6 million men and women ages 18 and older who have served in our Armed Forces (approximately 2.4 million of which have served since September 2001) within our civilian population. There are more high school graduates who have completed some college among today’s veterans than those in earlier cohorts, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The 2011 unemployment rate for all veterans was 8.3%, below the overall unemployment rate for those who had never served in the military (8.7%), which, given the considerable challenges veterans face re-entering the marketplace, is testament to their resiliency and industriousness. The unemployment rate for post – 9/11 veterans — many of whom have fairly recently reentered civilian life –averaged 12.1% in 2011. The unemployment rate was 30.2% for the youngest post 9/11 veterans (those aged 18 to 24), much higher than the 16.1% unemployment rate for non-veterans in the same age group. As of May 2013, there were 1.9 million unemployed veterans.

The Challenges and Opportunities

In a healthy economy, reentering the civilian workforce can be difficult, and though there have been signs of recovery, manufacturers are cautiously adding to their headcount, according to a labour economist at the Brookings Institution. Aside from the sluggish economic recovery, another barrier is the difficulty translating the valuable and relevant skills veterans have obtained during their military terms to applicable positions in the civilian labour market. Analysts speculate that one possible cause is that civilian employers and recruiters, unfamiliar with military occupational titles, are not able to connect their relevant experience to a suitable position within their company.

In a recent poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 78% of employers responded that a skills map that translates military job skills into civilian jobs skills would help in their efforts to recruit and hire veterans. Equipping veterans with a better grasp of civilian professional terminology, would also aid in bridging the gap between their military experience and civilian work. Lastly, though many veterans have the skills and aptitude to succeed in manufacturing, they often lack the necessary credentialing to be considered for jobs in the sector.

In October 2012, GE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University released the results of their ‘Voice of Veterans’ survey of over 1,000 veterans and active duty personnel under the age of 45. This is what they found:

  • 76% of young veterans are confident they can be successful in their careers, despite the many challenges faced when transitioning to ci