The importance of making advanced manufacturing careers attractive to students in high school and technical school cannot be understated. For Machinists in Massachusetts alone, demand amongst local employers has increased 75% over the course of two years. As manufacturing returns to the state, supply must increase proportionally to meet the growing demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts will have grown by 4% from 2012 to 2022, adding over 165,000 jobs in Machining, Assembly, Inspecting and Welding as well as related supervisory roles.
This equates to $6.2 billion dollars in payroll added over the course of 10 years. For high school grads concerned about entering a competitive job market, these manufacturing opportunities are a terrific means of entering a growing industry in a competitive trade with local companies focused on retention in high-demand professions. Over the past 2 years we have seen average hourly wages in these professions increase from 6% to 15% as a means of attracting talented manufacturing professionals in scarce supply.
Local trade schools and technical schools such as Porter and Chester, ITT Tech, Assabet Valley, Blackstone Valley, Montachussett and Nashoba Valley Tech among others offer a terrific and affordable means of developing skills necessary to enter extremely competitive advanced manufacturing professions. Training in vocations such as Machine Tool Technology, Engineering Technology, Metal Fabrication & Welding, and Machine Shop offer students immediate opportunities for employment upon successful graduation with companies in need qualified talent. Here is a link to a list of Massachusetts vocational schools as a resource for people interested in pursuing an education in those fields.
With demand increasing at these rates, employers and tech schools must work to market the appeal and benefits of a trade career in advanced manufacturing. With exponentially larger candidate populations in states such as Texas, Ohio and California, employers will soon find it easier to relocate manufacturing operations to better employment climates if we cannot increase the local supply of current and future talent.