Changing Workforce / Smart Manufacturing

American factories could prosper if they find enough skilled workers

By The Economist

Oct 17, 2017

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“We are always short 10 to 20 people,” says Jack Marshall, the manager of PPG’s plant in Oak Creek, WI. The company makes coatings, paint and specialty materials for customers such as Harley Davidson. His factory employs 550 people, many of whom must work overtime. It is hard to fill jobs, he explains, because many still think factory work involves repetitive assembly-line tasks, as in the candy factory on the old TV sitcom “I Love Lucy.”

As part of trying to shed this outdated image, America’s manufacturing industry has for the past five years celebrated the first Friday in October as National Manufacturing Day.


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