WASHINGTON, -  Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta spoke at the National Association of Manufacturers Summit in Washington, D.C. this morning highlighting the importance of manufacturers’ role in efforts to close the skills gap for the U.S. economy. With 2 million projected vacant jobs by 2025, and 350,000 job openings in manufacturing this month alone, Secretary Acosta emphasized apprenticeship programs and the critical role they play as part of the solution to the workforce problems facing manufacturers of all sizes. Apprenticeships offer a critical opportunity for prospective employees to develop the needed skill sets for modern-day manufacturing. By promoting apprenticeships and ensuring existing workforce development programs are effective and of high quality, manufacturers are creating more affordable pathways for students and the next generation to get jobs. Acosta applauded this “earn-while-you-learn” approach, and stressed that the employers in the room are critical to closing this gap, as they know what skills are needed for today and tomorrow’s workforce.

Also speaking to the Summit today, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy addressed workforce issues, stating the Perkins Act reauthorization bill which will be voted on in the House this week, and noted the world of technology and workforce has changed drastically since the last time this critical piece of legislation was reauthorized in 2006. Additionally, Majority Leader McCarthy urged manufacturers to open their doors to lawmakers, establish relationships with community colleges, and speak up about the skills needed in their workplace.

Employers are a critical link in up-skilling the manufacturing workforce to meet the current and future needs of advanced manufacturing. Click here to learn more about apprenticeships, and everything you need to get started with your own apprenticeship model. The Manufacturing Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. To learn more about what the Institute does to advance this agenda and how you can help us in our mission go to www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.


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