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44 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2023 Citing Our Sources: Report from Deloitte Article by Nolan Johnson A Deloitte article, "Competing for tal- ent: Recasting perceptions of manu- facturing," published in March 2022, could easily serve as a comprehensive handbook for understanding how to connect with Gen Z career candidates. R i g h t o u t o f t h e g a t e , a u t h o r s Wellener, Reyes, Moutray, and Hardin write, "There is good news to report... compared to our 2017 study, signifi- cantly more respondents believe that manufacturing jobs are innovative, and respondents are likely to encour- age their child to pursue a career in the industry," (Table 1). The authors continue, "the pan- demic has led to a new awareness of the critical nature of manufactur- ing in the United States." But they also strike a cautionary tone, warning that we are "at an inflection point and can use the increased public awareness of the industry to emphasize manufacturing's career opportunities and benefits, particularly to the pub- lic familiar with the industry." There is, as the authors demonstrate with the survey data, still a perception gap regarding manufacturing, which is increasingly becoming automated, high-tech, and requiring more complex skills. Further along in the report, the authors identify three key factors perpetuating the misperceptions about manufacturing: limited public awareness; increased competition for talent; changing work- force expectations. The report then takes a deep dive into each of these key factors, comparing man- ufacturing to other industries. For manufacturing managers looking to hire, it will help to better under- stand the relative strengths of other industries com- peting for the same talent. What stands out clearly for Gen Z talent is the sense of purpose they seek from their job. While compensation and benefits are factors, it becomes clear from the report that compensation may not be the major determining factor. Well-being, work/ life balance, clear career paths, and a sense of pur- pose in making the world better are equally impor- tant. According to the report, companies adapted their organization and employee expectations in an effort to increase employee satisfaction and to reduce employee turnover. The report shares that some interviewed com- pany representatives see that "millennial and Gen- eration Z workers are increasingly focused on cli- mate issues and the environmental implications of manufacturing and appreciate company awareness of these issues." Zero emissions, zero-waste, and other green-focused company initiatives are likely to be a factor in overall employee satisfaction going forward. Strategies for making manufacturing more com- pelling as a career path are discussed in detail, fol- lowing an Engage/Involve/Evolve model introduced by the authors. In the process of compiling the content for this issue, we found our research aligning with the find- ings presented in this report. SMT007

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