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Women in Manufacturing Will Help Bridge The Skills Gap


For some time, there’s been a lot of talk about the need to recruit new and younger employees to the manufacturing industry. Many crusading for this important cause hope an inflection of technology-savvy individuals could be a way to mend the obvious skills gap in the industry. Culturally, there’s a bias imbedded in this initiative, an unspoken thought that many of these new employees would be male. Considering that the manufacturing industry has long been a male-dominated industry, this is hardly surprising, but a Cleveland, Ohio-based non-profit Women in Manufacturing is looking to change the status quo, as reported in

Increasing the Numbers

According to Women in Manufacturing, approximately one in four of the 12 million manufacturing workers employed in the U.S. are female. This number is similar to what it was a decade ago. With an estimated shortage of 600,000 production workers, the non-profit argues it’s a good time to introduce more female workers to the manufacturing industry.

One way states are looking to induce more manufacturers to bring new workers to the industry is through a tax credit for small business “S” corporations who hire apprentices in manufacturing and other trades. Other tax credits promote building manufacturing skills through the schooling of middle- and high-school students.

Honoring New Female Manufacturing Leaders

In April, the Manufacturing Institute honored 130 females working in the manufacturing industry for their achievements. Occurring in Washington D.C., the fourth annual STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) awards recognize women who exhibit leadership in their industry. The national award identifies the best-of-the-best women working in the manufacturing industry and encourage them to use their leadership skills to mentor and support the next generation of women working in manufacturing.

Small Manufacturers Leading the Industry

Currently, small manufacturers are working to lead the industry forward in a number of ways, including adding more women to the manufacturing workforce. Other initiatives include bringing customers into the manufacturing and design process in order to create the perfect manufacturing solution for a deburring operation.

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