As part of the NIST MEP survey, clients from the 51 Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers are asked to identify the top three challenges their companies will face over the next three years. A predetermined list of challenges is used, which allows tracking of responses over time. This question has been asked for over a decade and thousands of clients have taken the time to give their thoughts.

Not surprisingly, manufacturers continue to report that employee recruitment and retention are their greatest challenges. In fact, these concerns have heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent workforce disruptions. The market forces driving these challenges are not likely to improve soon. Based on a Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte study, the National Association of Manufacturers estimates that manufacturers will need to fill 4.6 million jobs by 2028.

The Manufacturer’s Guide to Finding and Retaining Talent was developed by NIST MEP to outline steps that will help manufacturers improve and enhance their employee recruitment, retention and engagement. The Guide focuses on:

  • Strategy
  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • Training and development
  • Workplace culture

Manufacturers are experiencing incredible workforce disruptions – some unthinkable just a couple years ago. Some manufacturers have seen a brand new employee fail to return from their first meal break on their very first day on the job. If this happens, you have to ask yourself how your hiring process resulted in someone who was such a poor fit. Besides figuring out what went wrong when someone leaves unexpectedly, it’s important to consider the other side of the equation – what about your firm makes people stay. This guide will show you how to become an employer of choice that lives up to the adage that your people are your most important asset.

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