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42 SMT Magazine • August 2017 by Steve Williams THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING LLC Interviews with EMS industry executives across the country are united in their top con- cern for their businesses: finding new talent. Manufacturers can no longer afford to wait. It is time to educate and train the next generation of manufacturing. The Results Are in Is this really a problem? The short answer is yes; actually, it's hell yes! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy, and every 100 jobs in a manufacturing facility creates an additional 250 jobs in other sectors. Yes, Virginia, manufacturing matters. A recent survey by Career Builder, an online service that matches job seekers with open posi- tions, highlights one of the most frustrating as- pects of the current job market: Why can't em- ployers fill their positions when approximately 7.5 million Americans are unemployed, and mil- lions more are working part-time because they can't find full-time positions or have given up looking for work altogether? Looking at the fol- lowing survey data, 68% of employers who said they were increasing their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter (Jan.1– March 31, 2017), currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. This is consistent across company sizes: • 1-50 employees: 49% unfilled positions • 51-250 employees: 74% unfilled positions • 251-500 employees: 72% unfilled positions • 501+ employees: 71% unfilled positions The manufacturing skills gap is real. Deloitte recently did an analysis of the skills gap from 2015–2025 that shows alarming re- sults. The analysis showed that over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs The EMS Skills Gap Epidemic FEATURE

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