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Manufacturing is firing on all cylinders, but a lack of skilled workers is squeezing the sector

U.S. manufacturing has added 350,000 jobs since January 2017.

Due to a combination of economic expansion and baby boomer retirements, the Manufacturing Institute projects that by the year 2025, some 2 million jobs within the industry will go unfilled. The National Association of Manufacturers said about 500,000 manufacturing jobs are open.

A major problem is the skills gap.

“One of the biggest challenges facing our sector right now is the lack of that skilled workforce to fill open jobs,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute, NAM’s social impact arm. “Part of the reason for this challenge is that people don’t understand what modern manufacturing is all about — so perception is a big issue. People think of manufacturing as old and antiquated when it’s not.”

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