Training systems a priority as manufacturing jobs become more advanced


As demand for advanced technology skills in the manufacturing industry increases, companies can rely on Web-based training systems to bring workers up to speed.

A number of industries have felt the effects of the Great Recession since the latter half of 2008, but the future of the manufacturing industry is looking bright – at least in Massachusetts.

A new study from researchers at Northeastern University in Boston suggests that corporate investments in cutting-edge technologies and skilled workers are leading to a significant increase in overall productivity.

Researchers also note that, despite manufacturing jobs only accounting for 8 percent of the state's employment, they are responsible for 12 percent of its economic output. Furthermore,  there exists the potential for about 100,000 positions to open up for younger workers as baby boomers prepare to retire in the next few years.

Michael Goodman, chairman of the Department of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, told The Boston Globe that this report is a very good sign.

"Even though some people say, 'We don’t make things anymore in this country,' that's simply not accurate," said Goodman. "We just produce goods with fewer people today. This is a story about technological advancement and having more skilled workers."

He went on to tell The Globe that the priority now must be to properly train individuals and that "workforce-development and education sectors have their work cut out for them."

With increased demand for advanced technology skills – like the ones needed for jobs in the aerospace and electronics manufacturing sectors – combined with expected openings as older workers retire, now is the perfect time to focus on developing training programs.

In order to maintain and improve productivity, companies should concentrate on using online learning systems to prepare incoming employees so they are equipped with the necessary skills to help drive success. As these new individuals enter the workforce, managers can take advantage of training tracking software to ensure that each person is ready for the job.

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