IMEC is helping to bridge the manufacturing skills gap through an innovative new approach. The recently launched Skills Gap Analysis project is expected to help participating manufacturers plan their future workforce requirements and strengthen their communities. Recognizing the urgent need for a project like this in many Illinois manufacturers, IMEC’s president, Dr. David Boulay explains: “One of the biggest issues for managers in the manufacturing sector today is knowing what knowledge and skills workers will need beyond today’s work. We’ve seen the same series of events occur across many of our client companies: changing customer preferences lead to new products, which then leads to changing the way the work is done.”
By 2025, nearly 25 percent of the United States population is expected to be 60 years of age or older. With this demographic preparing to exit the workforce and enter retirement, what can be done to retain their knowledge and pass it down to the next generation of employees? After all, a good portion of the knowledge that our “employee elders” possess is not written down or stored within a computer—it’s stored in their head. And this is especially true within the manufacturing sector.