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May 20

Millennials and Manufacturing

Posted on May 20, 2021 at 8:21 AM by D'Asia Green

From the Director's Desk
Millennials are poised to impact the manufacturing industry in unique ways.  Millennials are the largest generational cohort in the United States, according to the US Census Bureau. Born between 1981 to 1996, Millennials account for 83.1 million individuals, overshadowing the 75.4 million Baby Boomers. Millennials also make up the largest share of the US workforce. According to a report from the Pew Research Center, one in three workers is a millennial. As Baby Boomers retire, Millennials will account for an even larger share of the American workforce.

The Technology sector is the most attractive industry for Millennials. According to an article from Smart Industry, Millennials are discovering that manufacturing jobs can be appealing with the increasing technological advances in manufacturing and the relatively high pay. Modern manufacturing is a high-tech career that involves integrating disciplines such as programming, engineering, and artificial intelligence. Today’s manufacturing workers are responsible for operations that produce many high-value goods.

Manufacturers face challenges in attracting and recruiting millennials, such as removing the stigma that manufacturing facilities are dirty, dark, and dangerous. Companies must act quickly in their efforts to remove the stereotypes surrounding the industry, as many high-skilled baby boomers are retiring. The exodus of retirees and lag in recruiting will create a substantial labor shortage, leaving millions of manufacturing positions unfilled. In South Carolina, apprenticeship programs such as Apprenticeship Carolina, are helping to dispel those myths and bridge the manufacturing employment gaps.

Nevertheless, the opportunities for Millennials in manufacturing are expansive. Millennials grew up using technology. That digital nativity gives them an advantage in working with new software and automated equipment. Millennials will be less hesitant to change, and more likely to embrace new advances. The ability for manufacturers to quickly adjust to market fluctuations will give them a competitive advantage and maximize profitability. For more information on Apprenticeship Carolina visit


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