Manufacturing plays a key role in the economic progress of the United States of America; and its citizens very well know its importance. In fact, more than 80 percent of people interviewed believe that the industry is essential to the country’s continued growth and prosperity. Sadly, young professionals are choosing to ignore the manufacturing industry for other more popular and seemingly more lucrative industries, such as tech and medicine. While these said industries do benefit society in some ways, manufacturing remains one of the pivotal areas of a country’s economy.

As reported by Deloitte, there are two million jobs in the manufacturing sector that are expected to go unfilled by the next decade. This gap between demand and supply will, in turn, create a gap for many manufacturing players as they encounter problems filling positions with competent and qualified people. Nonetheless, as a manufacturing company, you are in a position to resolve this skill gap. Here are three ways to do so:

Participate More in the Manufacturing Arena and in Your Local Community

If you want your workplace to be surrounded by young, skilled professionals, get out there and spread the word. Nobody knows who you are and what job positions are available until you actually put yourself out there. Visit job fairs and attend career days at colleges and vocational schools within your community. The young generation of aspiring manufacturing engineers won’t be looking for you thus you need to go where they are. STEM programs, like Manufacturing Day, also open up opportunities to reach the younger audience and look for potential talent.

If there aren’t any apparent programs or initiatives in your area, be the one to start it. Visit your local schools and invite students on tours of your manufacturing plants. Initiate grassroots programs that can also raise awareness and interest of the local people in the manufacturing industry.

Train the Next Generation of Workers

One of the simplest means of educating and helping the next generation get interested in the manufacturing industry is to provide the career support and training yourself. It is becoming increasingly uncommon for players in the manufacturing industry to find hires with the experience and technical training they need. To overcome this issue, find candidates that show potential and refine them through a rigorous and extensive training program. New hires would be learning from an already experienced individual or team who can walk them through the specifics of your business operations thus making the transition from a novice to a professional faster and easier.

Invest in the Younger Employees

The end goal isn’t when you attract skilled, young professionals through your business’ doors. You must also construct a positive work environment that inspires them to stay in the manufacturing business. If the workplace is riddled with stressors, talented employees will likely jump ship the first chance they get.

Invest in the growth of your entire workforce, but focus your personal efforts on nurturing the professional growth of the younger members. Create a conducive work environment by providing them with space, amenities, and aesthetic pieces that allow them to de-stress and focus on the tasks at hand.

The gap between competent manufacturing employees and the growing demand of the industry can be resolved using these three aforementioned tips. Making these adjustments to your business impacts not only your own but also the trillion-dollar industry of the US manufacturing industry.