Indiana companies report need for skilled workers even as they automate manufacturing

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A new survey shows many companies expect their markets to rapidly grow but are finding it difficult to attract younger generations to replace the wave of retiring baby boomers.

The survey, authored by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, asked people representing Indiana’s most significant manufacturing industries their take on the market.

The survey found that Indiana’s employers are reporting a shortage of skilled and unskilled laborers as they move towards automation.

The respondents said this shortage includes skilled production including machinists, craft workers, operators, etc.; unskilled production; and supporting roles including engineers and planners.

“They recognize that an adequate STEM education and employable life skills are necessary for the manufacturing jobs available and suggest enlisting public secondary schools to help address the shortage,” said Mark Frohlich, associate professor of operations management at the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

The survey authors say the findings suggest the obstacle of hiring skilled workers means there is a dependency to improve operational efficiencies.

People can read the full survey here.

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