NAM Talent Study Indicates Manufacturing Growth
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently released its annual talent study, highlighting that manufacturing growth is likely to increase in the next decade. Key takeaways from the study include:

  • US manufacturing emerged from the pandemic on a robust trajectory of growth with an emphasis on meeting changing customer demands, de-risking their supply chains, and seeking to leverage government policies and incentives.
  • There could be as many as 3.8 million new employees needed through 2033, and half of them could remain unfilled if talent initiatives don’t produce the necessary skills and workers required.
  • Higher skill levels are required as manufacturers lean into Industry 4.0. This could result in a skills gap as a tight labor market requires manufacturers to seek to be more competitive with other occupations.
  • Manufacturers use customer-focused strategies to understand better-evolving worker needs and design a better worker experience that enhances hiring and retention.
  • Manufacturers invest in partnerships and use regional ecosystems to fill their talent pipelines. Upskilling workers is a crucial strategy for now and into the future.

During the process, NAM surveyed manufacturers and found the following results noteworthy:

  • Some 65% of manufacturers polled said attracting and retaining talent is their primary business challenge.
  • About 90% said they are forming at least one partnership to better attract and retain employees; on average, they have at least four such partnerships.
  • Approximately 47% indicated that apprenticeships, work-study programs, or internships at manufacturing companies would be the most effective way of increasing interest in the industry.
  • Some 47% also said flexible work arrangements—such as flex shifts, shift swapping, and split shifts—have been their top retention tool.

MACNY members echo these sentiments. As an organization, we offer innovative approaches to talent development, Registered Apprenticeship Programs, and filling the talent pipelines. To learn more about how our team can help you, visit or contact one of our talent development team members at [email protected].