This is an original article from JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the manufacturing industry hard, and apprenticeship may be one strategy toward a stable recovery.
As the novel coronavirus spread across the country and around the world, many manufacturers had to cut back operations and lay employees off. These moves contributed to the overwhelming surge in new claims for unemployment benefits, which had surpassed 40 million in just ten weeks as of May 23, 2021.
Some companies were able to revamp their operations and pivot to producing much-needed goods like personal protective equipment and coronavirus test kits. But when the National Association of Manufacturers surveyed its membership in early March, more than 78 percent of the 558 respondents said they expected the pandemic to have a negative financial impact on their businesses, and 53 percent said they anticipated operational changes as a result of the crisis.