Publications & Reports

Missing Makers: How to Rebuild America's Manufacturing Workforce

July 29, 2014
Source/Author: 
Sruti Balakrishnan

View an interactive edition of our report online at ISSUU. 


Overview

Hope Street Group is pleased to share its latest report on manufacturing education and economic opportunity, Missing Makers: How to Rebuild America's Manufacturing Workforce.

The report, sponsored by Alcoa Foundation, broadly frames the education and training challenges that many stakeholders in the American manufacturing ecosystem face. The U.S. manufacturing workforce is aging rapidly, with half of the existing workforce only 10–15 years away from retirement. Yet, many American manufacturing employers are still struggling to build a new pipeline of workers, even as the youth unemployment rate remains above 16%, with nearly four million 16- to 24-year-old Americans looking for, but unable to find, work.

Drawing from targeted interviews with youth, educators, manufacturing employers, and others, Hope Street Group offers a new viewpoint into the root causes of the current skills crisis. In addition, the report provides flexible recommendations for manufacturing employers that can be tailored for individual regions, encouraging grassroots-level change.

Through Missing Makers, Hope Street Group aims to empower the full spectrum of practitioners involved in this space, many of whom are already working on innovative efforts to improve education to employment pathways in and beyond manufacturing.

What can YOU Do to Transform Manufacturing Education?

We at Hope Street Group encourage innovation at all levels – national, statewide, regional, and local. Everyone can generate change in their community. For manufacturers, educators, and any others interested in transforming manufacturing education, here are just a few suggestions that could make a huge difference: 

1. Build a technological link, or “portal,” that provides information resources to youth and connects them to local manufacturing jobs. For more information, see our supplement to Missing Makers: Designing, Developing, and Sustaining a Workforce Skills-Matching System.

2. Invest in manufacturing education programs in your local middle and high schools. See the “Career Exploration” section of Missing Makers for suggestions on a variety of ways to invest, including site visits, manufacturing-oriented coursework, and other ways of introducing manufacturing concepts to youth.

3. Encourage communication and collaboration among employers and educators in your region. It is critical for employers and educators to work in coordination to create more effective career education solutions. See the “Skilling Up” section of Missing Makers for suggestions on overcoming coordination barriers and building partnerships. 

Please feel free to contact us with any further ideas, concepts, or inquiries at info@hopestreetgroup.org. We look forward to hearing your stories.


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