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  • Writer's pictureGeoffrey Smith

Manufacturing Meets Millenials

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Millennials’ preconceived the notion that the manufacturing industry is an antiquated scenario, skewed with stereotypes dating back to the Industrial Revolution age. Supposedly it’s where uneducated workers are aimlessly assembling products and punching clocks signaling the end of a day of toil. However, with the influx of sophisticated technology, the next generation will think twice before underestimating the factory line.

Nowadays, workers are required to have astute STEM knowledge assembling tech devices, such as robotics and computer numerical control (CNC) machining, all in which correlates with the steady rise of hourly wages and salaries. Manufacturing has a huge capacity for growth, current forecasts projecting an increase of 1.7% from 2017 to 2020, and yet an outstanding 80% of companies are struggling to attract talent.

Research shows that Millennials strive to work for companies with certain values intact: socially conscious, transparent, and supportive. They truly believe that with will power, they can make an impact to the world—or at the very least, within top-down companies. Millennials are used to crowd-sourcing their information, which is partly indicative of them trusting first-hand experience more than corporate and academic experts. Thus, for companies to create a cohesive work community, it is indicative that they lay a foundation for trust and mutual respect. For instance, manufacturers should expect employees’ insights when it comes to the success of the company; constructive feedback from effective mentors is proven to foster high retention rates (averaging 20% retention rate more than those without mentorships). Ultimately, having newer employees gain important knowledge and build their skill sets from senior team leads will boost office morale.

Finally, studies show that nearly 80% of Millennials believe that flexible work hours are keys

to boosting productivity. Having a less rigid work environment and the ability to set a schedule promotes time management. Luckily, manufacturing already scores high in the category of flexible work structure, as it is indeed an industry driven by results and finished products. Advertising this perk, as well as vesting in and listening to the aforementioned appeals from Millennials will guarantee a shift in employment rates. By taking measures to erase the negative implications associated with the sector, companies can make manufacturing careers a destination, not just a place of last resort.


Author: Geoffrey Smith, Vice President of Marketing at the New York Grant Company, a private consulting firm specializing in securing financial incentives.

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