Advanced manufacturing jobs are growing while the workforce in these industries is aging, causing employers to worry about the availability of talent in the future. What’s more, young people aren’t always educated about the opportunities available in advanced manufacturing industries—a disconnect that makes it more difficult for businesses to recruit talent.
So economic and workforce development organizations that are fighting to attract, retain, and grow advanced manufacturing businesses need to understand and demonstrate their talent pipeline. If they can accomplish this, they’ll have a leg up on cultivating businesses that offer competitive wages, positively impacting gross regional product, and presenting a variety of career pathways to employees.
Emsi has created the video tutorial below to walk you step by step through ways to prove your advanced manufacturing talent pipeline. It shows you how to accomplish the following:
- Analyze the age distribution of your population
- Dig into workforce demographics trends, including the age of your advanced manufacturing workforce
- See how regional education institutions are supplying advanced manufacturing companies with talent
Defining Advanced Manufacturing
This video provides a quick overview of how to collect key data that will help you demonstrate your advanced manufacturing talent pipeline. But before you dive into your research, make certain that you have a keen understanding of what industries make up the advanced manufacturing sector.
The Brookings Institute released a study on 50 advanced industries, defined by industries whose R&D spending per worker fell in the 80th percentile (or higher) of all industries and whose share of workers in occupations that require a high degree of STEM knowledge is above the national average. Manufacturing industries made up 35 of the 50 advanced industries, including motor vehicle manufacturing, aerospace manufacturing, ship and boat building, basic chemical manufacturing, and more.
Here at Emsi, we define advanced manufacturing by these 35 industries—a strategy that Bob Potts, an Emsi client and research director at the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, has also used to conduct regional advanced manufacturing analysis. Read more about this definition.
What Other Data Can Help You Analyze Your Talent Pipeline?
This video provides a snapshot of the kinds of research that can help you prove your region’s talent pipeline. But are there additional ways that you can help your region’s talent pipeline stand out? Below you’ll find a few suggestions that weren’t covered in the video.
Sometimes your area won’t have enough workers in a particular occupation to fulfill a business’ needs. But you may have similar occupations in another industry and by another name that have very compatible skills.
How can you identify those occupations? To see how skills for certain occupations match up in terms of required knowledge, skills, and abilities, click on the Workforce Analytics card on the Developer home screen. Then, click on “Identify occupations that use similar skill sets to a specified occupation.” (In Analyst, go to Occupations, then Compatible O*NET Occupations.)
This report uses Emsi’s compatibility index (based on O*NET and our proprietary algorithm). A score of 100 means complete compatibility, and a score of zero means no compatibility. Any score at or above 95 is a solid match—and sometimes lower scores can be good matches, too.
Let’s use the industrial engineering technician example from the video. If there weren’t enough of these workers to fill the jobs in San Diego, where else might you look?
As it turns out, several occupations share the skill set that local businesses might need. Commercial and industry designers, with a compatibility score of 93, offer one example. This occupation is often paid more than industrial engineering technicians and typically requires a higher level of education, but nearly half of all commercial and industry designers in San Diego have less than a bachelor’s degree (see below).
It’s likely that at least some of these workers earn lower salaries than their more educated peers and may be looking for an occupation where they could promote without having to go back to school.
Here’s a radar map, which shows that there are almost no skills gaps between the two occupations:
Of course, these occupations have different functions, so there are still some knowledge gaps. Namely, commercial and industry designers may lack some knowledge of chemistry, mechanics, and physics (see below). Still, this is a close match that your business partner may be encouraged by.
You can also enrich your analysis by changing your search parameters—for any of the searches shown in the video—to a forward-looking timeline. Here’s a brief summary of how Emsi calculates projections.
Projections add dimension to your analysis because you can show not only what companies will encounter in the current labor market but also estimate what they might see in one to 10 years.
- Read about how the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance used these techniques to bring $80 million in capital investment and 180 jobs to Mount Pleasant, Tennessee.
- Deepen your understanding of how advanced manufacturing is defined.