Manufacturing Month Kicks Off in Connecticut
Event seeks to promote careers in manufacturing
October is Manufacturing Month, part of the Connecticut Dream It. Do It. statewide initiative to help promote manufacturing, educate Connecticut residents about the rewarding career pathways in manufacturing, and help our state’s manufacturers recruit the skilled workers they need to succeed in a global market.
New Reality, New Image
Connecticut is experiencing a talent shortage in several industry sectors, particularly in manufacturing. The 2012 CBIA/BlumShapiro Survey of Connecticut Businesses found that 48% of the 580 companies responding: and 58% of manufacturers: are having difficulty finding qualified workers, despite persistently high unemployment.
In a 2011 nationwide study conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers and Deloitte & Touche, an estimated 80% of manufacturers reported a “moderate to serious” shortage of qualified job applicants. The research also found that manufacturing has an outdated image filled with stereotypes of assembly-line jobs that has kept young people from pursuing careers in the sector.
“One of the main purposes of Manufacturing Month is to help replace the old image of manufacturing as mindless assembly-line drudgery with an image that reflects the new reality,” says Judy Resnick, executive director of CBIA’s Education Foundation and a member of the Manufacturing Month planning committee. “Manufacturing in Connecticut is a thriving sector that requires high-level technical, creative, and problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate effectively as part of a team.
“We also want to debunk the myth that all manufacturing is going to China,” says Resnick, pointing out that the high-level, precision manufacturing that’s done in Connecticut can’t easily be offshored and “isn’t going away.”
Manufacturing Month kicks off in Connecticut with Manufacturing Mania, an expo at the State Armory in Hartford on Oct. 6 . The event includes manufacturer exhibits, hands-on activities, and robotics demonstrations celebrating all that’s Connecticut-made. The month also features a series of open houses at manufacturing companies to showcase their products and the careers they offer. Open houses will also be held at several of the state’s community colleges to generate interest in new training programs.
Dream It. Do It. was created in 2005 by the Manufacturing Institute (an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers) to address misconceptions about manufacturing and introduce young people to the sector’s broad range of rewarding careers. The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. administers the initiative in Connecticut.
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