It’s a tough fact to swallow: the skills gap in manufacturing means that 2 million jobs will potentially go unfulfilled in the next decade in this sector. The solution to this problem can be even tougher for an older generation to face: we need Millennials in our workforce, and we need them now.
Let me start by saying that I dislike being categorized as a boomer and suspect many others dislike being categorized by age. Not everyone fits neatly into these categories, but it does offer a framework to address an ongoing challenge.
As a Baby Boomer I know about the stereotypes that are placed on Millennials—they’re often portrayed as lazy, unloyal, and ungrateful. I haven’t found that to be the case. To recruit this generation to our industry, we need to be aware that Millennials are simply less constrained by what we see as conventional behavior. At their core, they need to be inspired, to be mentored, and to be recognized. That’s really not very different from every other group. The difference is in how we accomplish that inspiration, motivation and recognition. It’s up to our generation to figure out the most efficient ways to do this.