Automakers Desperate To Attract Younger Generation of Workers

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Automotive News reported Saturday that several automakers are struggling to attract younger workers as young adults seem more disinterested with pursuing careers in manufacturing.

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Senior Vice President Randy Jackson said it’s important for the auto industry to soften the blow of reality when adulthood sets in:

“So many kids want to grow up and play in the NFL,” he says. “And college is a great thing, and it’s good to have a dream job out there. But if we can reach young people before they spend four years in college pursuing something that isn’t realistic, we might be able to open their eyes to something they will find very rewarding.”

According to the report, only 39 percent of children in Detroit said they would consider a career in the automotive industry and only 41 percent of their parents and teachers would recommend the industry too them.

Attracting and retaining younger manufacturing talent isn’t a struggle the automotive industry has on its own. As manufacturing jobs have left the States, so have interest in the remaining jobs. In 1953, manufacturing accounted for 28 percent of GDP in the U.S., but in 2012, that figure was around 11 percent. Many manufacturers say that students have the wrong impression of what assembly lines look like now.

“People still have the idea that manufacturing is a dirty dungeon place,” Andy Bushmaker of KI Furniture, told USA Today.

Several automakers, including Honda, have offered clinics and instructional booths to help attract workers. Honda has estimated that the U.S. will add 3.4 million manufacturing jobs by 2025, but will only have 1.4 million workers to fill those positions. In Ohio, the company has spent $1 million to attract middle- and high-school students to its jobs.

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

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  • Sco Sco on Oct 17, 2015

    Thanks as usual Mikey for keeping it real

  • Thelaine Thelaine on Oct 18, 2015

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