Changing Workforce / STEM Education

Manufacturers work to address "image problem" at root of talent crunch


Dec 26, 2017

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After a decade of growth in manufacturing, the sector still finds itself having to defend its worth to parents and high school counselors.

For industry watchers, this challenge in developing a talent pipeline points to more foundational issues the companies and society must address. 

The image problem is all too familiar to David Cole, chair of the Detroit-based AutoHarvest, who’s spent his career studying and analyzing the automotive industry. 

“One of the things that we have done is sort of denigrated the hands-on type of jobs. That’s particularly true of parents,” Cole said. “The only hands-on I want my kids to do is punch keys into a computer.”

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