Developing Connecticut’s next generation of skilled talent provides means introducing a world of opportunity to a younger group of people.

For example, under HB 5423, a committee would explore ways to recruit middle and high school students into manufacturing careers.

Source: 2014 Survey of Connecticut Manufacturing Workforce Needs.

It’s a key step to help solve a major need.

Manufacturers, in particular, are facing a significant skills shortage. The 2014 Survey of Connecticut Manufacturing Workforce Needs projected 9,300 manufacturing job openings by the end of last year.

Part of the challenge is attributable to a thinning of the talent pipeline.

Even today, some people are unaware that manufacturing is a high-tech job in clean facilities with excellent career advancement opportunities and benefits.

This committee could help Connecticut reach out to younger generations, help them make better informed decisions about manufacturing, and enable them to plot their education paths earlier in their school careers.

Even so, HB 5423 could be improved with some changes—such as looking at hands-on techniques and using social media and other technologies to spur the interest of students.

What’s more, incorporating the input of those that help steer students’ decisions—such as guidance counselors and parents—would help ensure long-term success.

In particular, lawmakers could expand a bill they passed last year that limited liability for certain employers who take on interns, to all employers interested in doing so, will support the process.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz (860.970.4404) | @CBIAjherz