How Is Technology Changing the Mfg Workforce?

Rapid technological change is transforming manufacturing. Utilization of robotics and artificial intelligence has certainly shifted the landscape.  Additionally, the advent of digital manufacturing will have a major effect on the competitiveness of industrial enterprise. One outfall will be the ability of manufacturers to recruit and retain workers with both the aptitude and experiential skills needed to fully realize the advantages of emerging technologies.

In site selection, the first imperative involves projecting the future skills that will be required to fully adopt technological innovation. This embraces both “upskilling” of current positions and new jobs that will emerge.

Once future skillsets are quantified, the next site selection challenge is to find locations where the current workforce and training ecosystems will produce a sufficient pool of qualified workers. This will demand adding another dimension in site selection. That is identifying areas that have holistic, dedicated efforts aimed at creating skills of the future.

One key element will be to identify locations where local manufacturers collaborate. Employers actively partnering with education, training, and social entities are key to building the future workforce. The next step in the process is to ascertain if the prospective company fits in this ecosystem. Also, in site selection, examine the extent of preparing grade school and high school students for careers in manufacturing and logistics.

This qualitative aspect of HR dynamics will be essential to selecting locations allowing companies to satisfy their near term and longer-range staffing needs. Moving forward, the most networked communities will emerge as the most attractive for future projects. As always in a dynamic industry, you must adapt to survive.


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