The manufacturing industry is hunting for manpower. As the baby boomers retire, millennials are their next target.
In the years to come, the demographic cohort after Generation X will become the biggest workforce available for manufacturers. The problem is, this generation hasn’t exactly been lining up for these vacant positions. According to the 2016 MHI Annual Industry Report, 600,000 jobs in the United States are expected to go unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers. Also, baby boomer retirements are on the rise. An estimated 2.7 million jobs will open up as this generation continues to exit the workforce.
What stops millennials from joining this industry?
Researchers continue to study the source of the lack of interest in manufacturing. For some industries, pay and financial incentives can be the reason, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in manufacturing.
As of 2016, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $82,023 annually, including pay and benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of the fourth quarter in 2017, the average salary in America was $44,564 per year.
The manufacturing industry has made strides over the past decade to improve its image. However, America’s perception of manufacturing is rooted in outdated stereotypes.
Many millennials aren’t seeing the manufacturing industry as an attractive career path. Some view these jobs – incorrectly – as dirty or offering little job security.
The industry is seizing mobile technology opportunities
Advances in automation, robotics, and digitization have helped manufacturers gain efficiency and productivity. These same advances can make manufacturing more attractive to the millennial generation.
At the same time, the industry can benefit from this generation’s tech-savvy behavior, harnessing their digital native instincts for finding easier, mobile technology-enabled solutions.
According to a new global study by B2X, 25 percent of millennials spend more than 5 hours on their smartphones each day. More than 50% spend at least 3 hours compared to a quarter of baby boomers.
David Rhodes, Director of Customer Success for The UP! App, said ensuring mobile technology is part of your current and future processes is one way to engage millennials’ interest.
“Technology provides more excitement and innovation to the industry and helps to dispel the stereotypes of the stodgy industry,” Rhodes said.
The UP! App could be part of your company’s technology adoption
Rhodes said The UP! App is an excellent example of mobile technology, making a worker’s job a little easier. With just a few steps, it has the power to save manufacturers hours. With UP!, people can more easily source and research service providers for their machines and other industrial equipment.
“This app connects manufacturers who need equipment service with service providers – giving people the information they need when they need it,” Rhodes said. “And better yet, this app is completely free for both service requesters and providers.”
For millennials who are used to requesting a ride through Uber or ordering lunch from Door Dash, this mobile technology is comfortable – even expected.
“Mobile devices have made it easier to order nearly every kind of service in our personal lives. The UP! App brings the on-demand service platform to the manufacturing environment,” Rhodes said. “And workers of all ages can see the advantages of finding more options more quickly with just a few taps on a smartphone.”
Download the app for iOS or Android today, or register in the online desktop version of the app.