Even if NAFTA renegotiation succeeds and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal fails, traditional manufacturing jobs won’t come back to the Rust Belt. Old-world assembly lines won’t roar back to life, and ex-line workers won’t get their same jobs back.
The biggest threat to the traditional production line worker isn’t offshoring or free trade — it’s innovation. This innovation is largely responsible for the growth in the U.S. manufacturing industry, delivering new technologies that go into consumer products, connected aircraft, and various kinds of automation within the manufacturing industry.
Based on my 20-plus years of experience in American production, I believe that location analytics will be one of the most impactful components that will enable and feed innovation, providing an opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to sustain their current momentum into the next decade and beyond.
The manufacturer’s landscape has shifted dramatically because of this innovation and related advances in the manufacturing sectors.
The United States is leading this global trend and facing new challenges. Businesses need to attract the best talent to compete better and optimize where and when to establish new plants, warehouses, and stores. Having the technology and skilled workforce to address these challenges is essential to succeeding in this new era of manufacturing.
Historically, the manufacturing workforce was measured in the context of production line capacity. Today, that workforce needs to be measured by its breadth of expertise in business analysis, product design engineering, supply chain planning, and many other related fields. The opportunity to have a lucrative career in manufacturing in the United States is as high as ever, but the job models — and skills required for them — have evolved across the value chain.
For advanced manufacturing roles, companies need to build up new skills throughout the production workforce to take full advantage of this automation. A recent Forbes article credits automation for the stunning revival of such regional clusters as the Rust Belt, Energy Belt, and Deep South. Those revivals didn’t happen by accident but originated with human expertise.
Where to find talent
A lack of qualified workers remains the top threat to manufacturing growth among members for the second consecutive year, according to Prime Advantage’s recent annual Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey. It will be a competitive necessity for manufacturers to tap into the best talent for all positions, no matter where those talented people live.
With so much of the talent pool spread across the country, we’ll see product design and business analyst resources working in markets that traditionally have fostered high business and technology innovation, such as Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle. Pooling talent from innovation hype circles will help manufacturers attract and employ the top professionals from all disciplines. Geography with all its related disciplines and sub-disciplines will be a huge community from which to headhunt.
There’s a growing demand for professionals
lly-skilled workers in the field for the maintenance and servicing of the installed based across the globe. These workers are a geographically-dispersed workforce situated near customer clusters. These workers will need processes and tools that help them best serve the needs of the customers once the product is in use, whether that’s in the home, the office, or remote work areas, such as construction sites. Understanding the geospatial context of the products and the customers will help manufacturers and their service teams deliver the highest levels of customer value over the lifetime of the product.
Seizing these opportunities for growth will lead to more manufacturing jobs than ever. Businesses’ main objective should be acquiring the proven intelligence technologies and skilled workforces to operate them to achieve good results consistently.
If skilled workers become plentiful in the United States soon, industry will have the resources it needs to remain globally dominant.
This article was originally published from:http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2017/02/02/manufacturing-s-new-era-means-new-worker-skills.html