In updating previous research on perceptions, The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that significantly more respondents believe that manufacturing jobs are innovative, and more respondents are likely to encourage their child to pursue a career in the industry. Further, the pandemic has led to a new awareness of the critical nature of manufacturing in the United States and beyond. Yet, amid the economywide workforce shortage, manufacturing companies continue to struggle to fill open positions.
The study reveals a continued perception gap: Even as domestic manufacturing is viewed as increasingly important to the economy, public perceptions of manufacturing are not in line with the current reality. For instance, many Americans are not aware of the increasingly high-tech nature of manufacturing, which is improving employee productivity and providing cutting-edge, transferable skills. This perception gap is likely contributing to the current shortage of applicants.
In short, manufacturers find themselves waging a war for talent both globally and, more importantly, at the hyper-local level. This report highlights the perception gaps and suggests ways to possibly change these to align with the current realities of modern facilities, advanced technologies, and career mobility.