While I believe some of the talk of skills shortages is political hype from some employers not wanting to pay market competitive salaries, there is no question that many kids today don’t see a career in manufacturing as an exciting option. My column in Circuits Assembly this month discusses this issue and ways to help grow the available workforce and infrastructure necessary to support returned growth in the manufacturing sector.
In talking with OEMs and electronics manufacturing services companies over the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion that while nearshoring is happening, the bigger trend is a more calculated rationalization of the supply chain with a greater focus on total cost. This is good, because for years many companies were fixated on moving projects to the lowest cost labor market, whether it made sense or not. In my April Circuits Assembly column, I visit some of the softer issues that make or break an outsourcing relationship.
My latest EMT Worldwide column is out. Looking at all the presidential campaign activity focused on glorifying manufacturing these days–factories make such wonderful backgrounds for speeches, I thought it might be time to focus on what I’m seeing as the real drivers of insourcing/reshoring. It also discusses some of the cost drivers that likely limit a massive resurgence in U.S. manufacturing. Feel free to comment. I suspect anyone who owes their job to a manufacturing company has thoughts on this one.