Michigan Manufacturers Association calls manufacturing employee shortage ‘unbearable challenge’
Mich. (WNEM)- The Michigan Manufacturers Association said vacant positions far outweigh applicants in the auto industry, and it could cost the economy trillions of dollars.
“The shortage of manufacturing employees will hit the economy to the tune of close to $7, maybe $8 trillion over the next two decades,” said David Worthams, director of HR policy at Michigan Manufacturers Association.
Big numbers that will add up in the future because of the national shortage of manufacturing and automotive workers.
“Those engineers, those plant managers, those workers who might need some advanced degrees, or advanced credentialing just are not being produced right now,” Worthams said.
Worthams said over a third of the work force is at the point where they are ready to retire.
“If we don’t have enough talent to staff a full shift, that means that that’s fewer products being made, fewer cars, trucks being completed,” Worthams said.
The problem goes deeper than numbers. Worthams said the inability to fill these positions will slow advancements in electric vehicles.
“If we don’t have the talent there to help us make those transitions, it just slows everything down. It is almost an unbearable challenge,” Worthams said.
Those trends vary across the industry. Locally at the GM Flint Assembly, they have not seen staffing shortages.
“We’re running pretty much like we were pre-COVID and chip shortages,” Duby said.
Ed Duby, plant executive director, said they had to get creative to overcome market challenges.
An effort that paid off in the hiring of 600 workers.
“In the past we would just rely on our website and a lot of our recruiting. We went boots on the ground, went out to factory one, which is the birthplace for general motors, we recruited people, we brought them in, and we’ve had good success of retaining them,” Duby said.
The GM Flint Assembly is looking to fill about 300 part-time, temp jobs for the summer. You can apply here.
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