The Engineering Shortage in Manufacturing: 800K+ Open Jobs

Manufacturing is one of the most important industries in the United States. It's responsible for creating goods and products that people use every day. However, despite the critical nature of this industry, there are currently over 800,000 open manufacturing jobs in the US. In particular, companies are faced with a shortage of skilled labor as manufacturing positions requiring experience and talent are harder to fill.

This isn't a new problem for the manufacturing industry, however. The engineering shortage in the US began several years ago and, according to a report put out by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, the sector will experience a manufacturing shortage in excess of two million employees over the coming decade. 

So why is there an engineering shortage? This is due to several factors, including an aging workforce, a lack of interest in manufacturing positions among younger generations, and a skills gap.

The Engineering Shortage Challenges for the Manufacturing Industry

One of the main challenges of the manufacturing labor shortage is the skills gap, or finding good talent. The manufacturing sector is constantly innovating, meaning that engineers need to maintain a diverse knowledge base and set of skills to allow them to work with new technologies and advanced machinery. However, not many of the workers who are currently available in the job market have the necessary skills to fill these positions.

Another challenge is that the younger generation isn't interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing. Many young people are unaware of the opportunities that exist in this industry and are instead drawn to fields like technology and finance. This has led to a shortage of skilled workers in the manufacturing industry, which is only expected to worsen in the coming years as older skilled workers retire.

Solutions to the Engineering Shortage

To address these challenges, the manufacturing industry has been working to attract new talent. This includes partnering with educational institutions to create programs that teach students the skills they need to work in the industry. Many companies have also been investing in training programs to help their existing employees develop new skills.

Additionally, the manufacturing industry has been working to improve its image. Many people still have the perception that manufacturing jobs are dirty, dangerous, and low-paying. Instead, many of the positions in today's job market are actually well-paying and in clean, high-tech facilities. By improving its image and showcasing the many benefits of working in this industry, the manufacturing sector can attract more talented workers.

How Marlin Steel Is Attracting Workers

At Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC, we're solving the worker shortage problem in our own way: by showing our employees that they matter. We're a next-generation manufacturing company, and we're attracting skilled workers by focusing on employee needs and what they find valuable. This includes:

  • Competitive compensation and benefits. We know what our employees are worth, which is why we offer competitive compensation, a comprehensive benefits package including paid time off and a 401k with matching, and much more.
  • Employee bonuses. We have an incentive program to provide cash bonuses for employees who exceed the week's production target. By giving them a cut of the profits, we're incorporating our employees' success into that of the company. 
  • Worker safety. In the Workers Compensation Experience Rating, Marlin reached the 99th percentile, meaning that we outperform almost all similar companies in keeping our workers safe.
  • Career advancement opportunities. At Marlin, we encourage cross-training and utilize a skills matrix to track and reward employees for learning new processes and equipment. Also, to support employee growth, we offer tuition reimbursement.

The Marlin strategy is working, as we have more engineers than the rest of our competition combined. Twenty percent of Marlin teammates are mechanical engineers, industrial engineers, or chemical engineers.

To apply to one of our open positions, visit our Careers page.

Looking Toward the Future

With over 800,000 open manufacturing jobs, finding good talent has become increasingly difficult in the US manufacturing industry. The skills gap and a lack of interest in manufacturing among younger generations are two of the main factors contributing to this challenge. However, by investing in training programs, partnering with educational institutions, and improving its image, the manufacturing industry can attract new talent and fill the many open positions that currently exist.

About Marlin Steel

The Marlin team specializes in custom metal forms and wire products constructed from American steel. Since 1968, our wire baskets, racks, trays, carts, and other material handling containers have been 100% American-made for customers both domestic and international. Through rapid prototyping, production lead times, and order fulfillment, as well as our commitment to innovation through automation, our highly skilled mechanical engineers deliver Quality Engineered Quick® to clients ranging from the government to Hollywood for full customer satisfaction. This trademarked mantra is the heart and soul of our success – amazing, novel innovations created by our talented mechanical engineers working in concert with our chemical engineering team.

To learn more about working with Marlin Steel, contact us today.