Skilled Workers: The Future of Continuing the Manufacturing Momentum


Nov 13 2013

Skilled Workers: The Future of Continuing the Manufacturing Momentum

By: Staff

Posted in: General


The global manufacturing market has seen a drastic transformation over the last year, and North America has become the epicenter of that change. Manufacturers in the United States and Canada have been hit with increasing labor and operational costs in China and other overseas facilities. As a result, manufacturers are focusing their efforts to either reshore or nearshore their plants. This quick renaissance in the manufacturing market has led to a strong focus on the need for skilled workers, or more specifically, in the educational acronym, STEM: “Science, Technology, Electronics and Mathematics.”

Manufacturers, located in China specifically, have seen a gradual rise in labor prices, and these costs are estimated to continue to increase as China faces a shifting economic climate. As these manufactures focus on adopting new technologies to maintain the current momentum, the key component that seems to be missing is a skilled work force. According to a recent survey by Bayer Corporation, corporate recruiters insist that there is a STEM worker shortage in the United States. “STEM” education is used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools. This process starts at kindergarten and continues through college to improve the United States competitiveness in technology developments. As companies continue to create more STEM positions, many recruiters have difficulty finding qualified candidates. If left unfilled, these positions can cause lowered productivity, set limits to growth for individual companies and the industries as a whole, and even result in lower overall revenue.

This skills gap, which accounts for approximately 80,000 jobs, is only going to worsen as current manufacturers look to retire. Currently, the average manufacture worker is 40-50 years old, and is looking to retire within the next ten years. That is why the United State is working hard to develop programs that train workers in specific industries. The goal is to encourage students to earn engineering and technology degrees, while also encouraging businesses to develop “training programs” with local colleges and universities. With 75% of talent recruiters believing that 10 years from now there will be more STEM jobs than Non-Stem jobs, it is imperative that there is a greater emphasis on these programs. Together, these efforts can turn America into a hub of innovating, developing, and building for the future of manufacturing.

While the United States scrambles to fill this current skills gap by putting emphasis on STEM education, Mexico is already ahead of the curve. The energetic Mexican Government has promised deep economic reforms in pursuit of a 6% annual growth. With many manufacturers already moving plants to Mexico, the Government is seeing resurgence. In an effort to support growth, Mexican workers have access to two or five year courses in manufacturing for little to no money. This investment in education is allowing the country to evolve its labor force and continue to drive North American manufacturing growth.

Having been established in Tijuana, Mexico for the past 15 years, Tornik LLC has always seen the benefits of having a manufacturing plant in this low cost region. With the close proximity, short merchandise transit time, intellectual property protection, and stable workforce, having a 20,000 square foot plant in Mexico has been an advantage to our company. Being located in Tijuana specifically allows Tornik to move merchandise easily to our San Diego, California warehouse.

Additionally, manufacturing wages are likely to be 30% lower than in China by 2015. And, with Mexico having more free trade agreements than any other country, 44 in total, it provides accessibility to the world’s largest markets.

As manufacturers continue to expand into Mexico, the workforce is going to continue to have more opportunities to become highly skilled in innovative technologies.

New Bayer Survey:–17383955/
Mexican Manufacturing: From Sweatshops to High Tech Motors:
Manufacturing Renaissance Depends on Skilled Workers: