Manufacturing boot camps help a talent shortage

Boot camps help with the ‘Great Resignation’

One of our nation’s most significant challenges is to fix the current state of the workforce. Workers are taking a long, hard look at what they want and need from their careers, often straying from the traditional collegiate route in search of something new. Meanwhile, employers struggle to fill positions across pay grades and skills, despite their willingness to compensate well and offer innovative benefits packages. 

The post-pandemic Great Resignation, where many workers decided to switch careers in search of higher pay and better work conditions, is forcing employers to face these new workforce challenges. At the same time, the baby boomer generation is retiring. As this generation had far fewer children than the previous, the workforce is shrinking en masse along with the general population. 

Boot camps help companies take workforce challenges into their own hands

Now, employers are looking for innovative ways to meet hiring needs and attract the upper echelons of workers for their industry. The manufacturing industry is working its hardest at this. Deloitte suggests that over 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will be unfilled by 2023. As a result, many manufacturing sites seek innovative solutions to fill their hiring needs. 

Companies are taking this workforce challenge into their own hands by developing manufacturing-specific job training programs to recruit talent and prepare the next generation for careers in manufacturing. Some partner with community colleges and trade schools, while others design a “boot camp” system to funnel talented workers directly into open positions. 

These boot camps help reskill workers, but other significant benefits emerge. For instance, many workers don’t realize the opportunities in manufacturing or the critical advantages that make a career path so appealing. As a direct result, in addition to skills, participants learn: 

  • Manufacturing offers a variety of options for career growth
  • Training in manufacturing can facilitate careers in engineering, robotics, IoT, and other innovative industries
  • Those in manufacturing can earn competitive salaries without a college degree

In boot camps, companies have the opportunity to provide participants with targeted training based on their own needs. Boot camps are a unique educational approach. They are growing in popularity as they are a low-cost opportunity for employers and workers to connect. As a result, participants can learn critical skills, and those that stand out for their work ethic are often given jobs at hiring companies in their city. 

Boot camps that partner with community colleges are successful

Boot camps designed with community colleges and city partners are successful. These organizations have years of educational experience and the facilities to blend technical learning seamlessly with traditional classroom time. Drive48 is an example of a success story, an automotive manufacturing learning space designed to help grow Arizona’s booming manufacturing industry. 

As a result of efforts like Drive48, Arizona has become a leader in the nation’s manufacturing space. Over 180,000 residents work in manufacturing, earning more than 20% more than others in the private sector. In partnership with the City of Casa Grande, Central Arizona College, and the Arizona Commerce Authority, Lucid Motors constructed the Drive48 learning center. This training facility offers hands-on robotics training and traditional classroom time. 

Centers like Drive48 may soon replace traditional education in many fields, from manufacturing to the trades and other hands-on career options. In addition, we hope to see more innovative approaches to workforce development in other industries, following the lead of such manufacturers across the U.S.

Boot camps move the workforce forward

The principles of reskilling workers, providing participants with targeting training based on their needs and industry trends, and partnering with local businesses to funnel talented workers into open positions are mainstays in Eckerd Connects’ Workforce Development programs. We know, then, that these nationwide increases in well-partnered boot camps are a viable 21st-century approach to work readiness and economic development. Boot camp efforts can drive workforce solutions through tailored efforts that increase skilled workers and filled positions.