101MFG Survey: Future Workforce

The Future of The Manufacturing Workforce in California

Watch a Video

  • Video [12:06] Fast forward to see the following:
    [2:00]... High School students studying manufacturing
    [5:30]... Tech Prep Study - Research Findings
    [8:15]... Interviews with Manufacturing Executives
  • Video [4:44] 101MFG "100-in-100" High School Job Shadow

Read the 101MFG "Tech Prep" Study Findings

  • Executive Summary
  • Chart Book
  • During 2011, 101MFG surveyed more than 150 manufacturers throughout the nine County Bay Area. The key findings were:

    • More than 50% of the manufacturers predicted growth above 15% during the next five years. Extrapolating to the three northbay counties, this means we'll need to hire and train at least 3,000 new skilled and college-trained workers, and more than 20,000 in all of Northern California.
    • Two-thirds of these new jobs won't require college degrees, but they will require significant 2-to-4 year training, technical certification and some work experience.
    • Manufacturing Compensation is 20% Higher than All Employer Average
      [14 Labor Categories Surveyed] Supervisor, CAD/CAM/CAE, Electrical Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Manufacturing/IE Engineer, Quality/ Inspection Technician, Assembly/Welder, Machinist, Tool & Die, Automated Equipment Operator, Manual Operator, Setup, Maintenance Technician and Material Handling.
    • A Wave of "Baby Boomer" Retirees: Manufacturers are Concerned Whether they Will Find Qualified Replacements
      Three of every five employers we surveyed are "concerned" or "very concerned" that they may not be able to fill new or replacement highly skilled jobs, because they are experiencing difficulty finding applicants with the right skills and experience.
    • Fewer than 30% of responses rated current job candidates "best-in-class" or "very competitive"
      We are not training students for the skills employers need most. Today, nearly 40% of the manufacturing workforce is at or within three years of retirement age--suggesting that even if employers hold levels steady there will be a significant demand for new skilled workers.
    • Shop Skills and Experience are Relevant to the Skills Employers Need
      More manufacturer responses listed "Mechanical/Technical Aptitude" and "Job Specific Skills" than "Basic Science, Math, Language" as the skills they were most concerned about, for 2-year/technical [non college/post-grad] employees. Among college and post-grad candidates, employers ranked "specialized expertise," "research experience," and "advanced engineering degree" as the most important skills-- by a wide margin.