Manufacturing Works Blog

Is the Skilled Labor Shortage Standing Between You and Growing Your Business?

By Manufacturing Works - March 18, 2021

What if I told you that you could invest in building your own skilled workforce and the cost would be next to nothing?

As Northeast Ohio manufacturers begin to emerge from the clutches of COVID-19, they are still faced with a workforce shortage caused by rapidly increasing retirement rates and substantially fewer young people entering the workforce. This shortage of skilled workers is certainly not new. It was predicted 25 years ago, but many companies have been reluctant to invest in training. The retirement wave, known as the "Silver Tsunami" is here. Thousands of experienced workers are retiring every day, leaving manufacturers with the increasingly difficult challenge of training and retaining the incoming workforce.

Manufacturing Apprenticeships Offer Valuable Trade Skills Experience

The U.S. Department of Labor says that apprenticeship is key to our post-pandemic recovery and workforce shortage. Apprenticeships are effective ways to help employers meet their need for skilled workers, while preparing people for high-paying jobs. Workers gain in-demand skills, while also earning a paycheck, thus impacting the economy. Apprenticeships also facilitate the knowledge transfer from older workers to their trainees, who are eager to learn the skills and insights of their mentor.

Research shows that apprenticeships provide significant benefits to businesses, including a return on investment of $1.46 for every $1 invested and an 89% three-year retention rate for post-apprenticeship employees. Manufacturing Works Apprenticeship Consortium members already recognize the benefits of investing in registered apprenticeships.

"The ideal situation is being able to learn something in a classroom setting and apply it on the job the next day. Martindale provides the support needed with time, financial investment and the 'practical playground' for all this to happen to benefit the apprentice and the company leading to growth for both."

Linas Biliunas, President, Martindale Electric Co.

Finding the Right Apprenticeship Program

To harness the power of apprenticeship, federal, state, and local agencies continue to make investments and provide financial relief to manufacturers who need to upskill their workforce. In early February, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will invest $3.5 billion over the next five years to expand apprenticeship programs. Manufacturing Works has identified state and local grants that will cover up to 100% of the costs associated with apprenticeship. These funds are available to all members of our apprenticeship program. We currently offer apprenticeships in Industrial Maintenance, CNC Operator and Programmer, Tool & Die Maker, Welding, Precision Machining, and Plastics Process Technicians (coming in the Fall of 2021).

So, what are you waiting for? What is standing in between you and investing in a sustainable pipeline? Contact Beth Dawson, Apprenticeship Program Manager at 216.920.1963.


We promise that we won't SPAM you.