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Skills Gap – Illinois – Widening on factory floors

Say “skills gap” to any manufacturer, and invariably they’ll respond with the number 600,000. That’s the gaping hole of unfilled jobs at U.S. manufacturers—for Illinois, estimates point to 30,000 unfilled jobs. The talent shortfall carries serious consequences. In a Manufacturing Institute 2011 skills gap report surveying more than 1,100 U.S. manufacturers, 74 percent of respondents said a lack of skilled production workers was harming productivity or hindering their ability to expand operations.

That skills gap will widen. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, based in Dearborn, Mich., predicts the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs will reach 3 million by 2015.

Despite the dire outlook, some say there’s a relatively simple way to defuse the sector’s talent bomb. Peter Cappelli, for one, likens manufacturers’ talent complaints to shopping for a car, not finding the vehicle you want within your budget—and then concluding there’s a car shortage. “If you want to get people into a particular field, you might start by paying them more,” says Mr. Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “Or make the training more attractive and easier to do.”…

Choosen excerpts by JMM from

via Illinois manufacturers see the skills gap widening on factory floors – Focus – Crain’s Chicago Business.

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