Before the official opening of the IFE 2023 Expo Floor, keynote speaker Jake Hall, better known as the Manufacturing Millennial, gave attendees an interactive and captivating presentation focused on the tech-driven evolution of manufacturing.
As the industry is undergoing rapid transformation steered by cutting-edge technology and the promise of a new generation of workers, Jake shared some stats with the audience that got their gears turning, including:
- Every $1 spent in manufacturing results in an additional $2.79 added to the economy. – US Dept. of Defense
- If you were to take manufacturing industry and turn it into a country it would be the 7th largest in the world based upon global economic impact.
- Manufacturing represents almost 15% of the global workforce.
- Going back as far as 2002, the manufacturing industry had 300,000 open jobs; post-pandemic that number grew to between 700-800,000 open jobs resulting in a $92B loss in potential output. Looking ahead to 2030-2035, we are faced with up to 2.4 million open jobs due to lack of workforce.
- 74% of the manufacturing workforce left the industry during the pandemic and did not return.
A 2020 study done by Tallos asked about 14,000 high school students: “When you graduate high school what future industry do you want to be a part of?” Only 3.5% chose manufacturing and 2.9% chose logistics and distribution.
Having generational diversity within the manufacturing industry is something that will make this workforce unique and versatile. Jake asked the audience what they think future employees look like and how does technology fit them? He went on to explain that these three key attributes are what the next gen workforce will need from manufacturers as they look at exploring a future in the industry and to continue to be successful as they grow within the company.
- Ability to be cross-trained.
- Attention to detail.
- Motivation to learn.
Technology can be a tool for each one of these points. For example, manufacturers can use cell phones, tablets, VR, and other digital training tools to help cross-train and offer additional learning and growth opportunities. Jake underlined the importance of upskilling and continuous learning, encouraging manufacturers to invest in the development of their employees to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape.
Jake shared that 87% of millennials do not work for a manufacturer for more than 90 days if they do not see the technology being used within the workplace.
The use of technology does not stop there! Jake highlighted the major shift in the way we learn and communicate; so much so that social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have more members than the population of China, India, and the US.
As a manufacturing company, having an online presence and showcasing your business, the culture, people, and what’s exciting in your shop or office, is key to attracting the new workforce. In fact, before going into a job interview, 85% of Millennials and Gen Z will look at a company’s social media, don’t miss the opportunity to show them who you are!
Looking at LinkedIn specifically:
- 52 million people are actively looking for a new position using LinkedIn.
- Every second, 3 new people create a profile on LinkedIn.
- Over 10,000 job applications are sent every minute on LinkedIn.
This social tool gives future employees, customers, and partners an opportunity to learn who you are as a company.
Jake also shed light on the exciting future trends and innovations within the manufacturing industry including:
- Automation software
- VR or Augmented Reality
- Safety devices and wearables
As the industry continues to advance, it’s clear that technology and the next generation of workers will play pivotal roles in shaping the future of manufacturing. The insights shared during IFE 2023’s Keynote have provided a compelling roadmap for manufacturing professionals as they navigate the exciting road ahead.
A full recording of Jake’s presentation can be found on the IFE Match app and later on the launch of IFE Replay, a video library of both 2022 and 2023 session recordings, as well as highlight reels and the award ceremony.