By all accounts, the manufacturing industry in Connecticut has been steadily growing for the past several years and it’s projected to keep on growing. In November, the sector posted its largest monthly gain since May 2020.
In its 2018 – 2028 employment projections, Connecticut’s Department of Labor predicts the demand for computer-controlled machine operators to grow almost 33%. Demand for machinists and welders is projected to increase 14% and 11%, respectively. Unfortunately, the pool of skilled workers needed to fill these and other manufacturing jobs has been declining for the past decade.
On January 4, 2022, the job search website Indeed.com listed 262 machinist job openings, all located within 25 miles of Hartford, CT.
So where have all the machinists gone? Many have retired. And high schools, eager to increase their percentage of students who go on to four-year colleges, have been steering students away from trade schools. Also, there are longstanding perceptions that manufacturing jobs are dirty, low-skilled jobs with no potential for professional growth.
Recognizing that these misconceptions are contributing to the labor shortage, The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc., the state Department of Economic and Community Development, and Connecticut’s technical high schools are working together to change the way our young people think about manufacturing.
The Young Manufacturers Academy (YMA) is one of the many programs they’re using to do this. Geared toward middle and high school students, the YMA exposes teens to the high-tech world of modern manufacturing and provides them with hands-on experience in a manufacturing environment.
Jeffrey Pearce, CCAT Education & Career Development, said, “The trend we’re noticing now, which all manufacturers will attest to, is that there’s a shortage of workers. That’s one of the reasons for this program. We want to train the next generation of manufacturers so we have that workforce.”
The CCAT provides students, families, educators and manufacturers with a broad range of educational resources designed to inspire interest in manufacturing. This includes webinars, videos, and professional development workshops. Teachers, counselors, and school administrators are invited to tour its East Hartford facility and learn about precision machining, additive manufacturing, automation and other manufacturing technologies February 15.
This is just one of the many programs available to CT manufacturers. At CTmrg we provide manufacturers with a variety of tools and resources they need to grow their businesses, including workforce assets. From training dollars to recruitment and retention best practices, we can connect you with the expertise needed to succeed.
To find more events geared explicitly for CT manufacturers check out our full calendar of Events and Webinars for Manufacturers.