Light Industrial Manufacturing: How to Combat the Skilled Labor Gap

light industrial

2020’s COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession disrupted many industries globally. Undoubtedly, the hospitality, entertainment, and restaurant industries have been hit the hardest. What some may not know is that the manufacturing sector has been too.

Due to Covid, some light industrial manufacturers had to temporarily close facilities, halt production schedules, scale back operations, or reorganize workflows for safe distancing — resulting in both layoffs and lost revenue. Adding insult to injury, an insidious skilled labor gap has been emerging over the past decade, threatening to transform the industry entirely. 

Despite these challenges, there are still major opportunities in the light industrial manufacturing sector, you just have to know where to look.

Let’s explore the light industrial manufacturing skilled labor gap, how Covid-19 has worsened the problem, and what leaders in the light industrial manufacturing industry can do to proactively protect profits.

The Light Industrial Manufacturing Skilled Labor Gap

A report published in 2018 by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 4.6 million jobs will need to be filled in the manufacturing sector over the next decade. It’s predicted that up to 2.4 million jobs may be left open due to a lack of workers. The deficit of qualified talent caused the U.S. to lose an estimated $48 billion in manufacturing GDP in 2018, and this is expected to grow to $454 billion by 2028.

The reason for these increasing labor deficits is due to the fact that baby boomers are moving out of the workforce and into retirement at a rapid pace – which leaves the rest of the industry with the challenge to replace all of them while trying to scale at the same time.

Misconceptions About Working in the Light Industrial Manufacturing Industry

A major challenge in attracting new workers to manufacturing is the general misconception of what it means to work in the industry. Too often the perception is that industrial work dirty,

dangerous, and has limited growth. Multiple industrial revolutions have added to this across decades and centuries, but, the reality is that manufacturing as a career has changed a lot.

There are more robust safety regulations to keep employees healthy and happy, most companies now have employee retention plans and entice employees to stay with benefits, work perks, and other incentives. Manufacturing has also had major technological advancements over the years, with robust technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), transforming how work gets done in a factory, and the new skills needed to work in these spaces.

Solutions for the Light Industrial Manufacturing Industry 

Set Up Internal training

Eliminate the labor gap yourself by up-skilling your own employees. One of the best ways to develop your industrial workforce is with your company’s internal training opportunities. This allows you to custom-design the curriculum for the exact skills you need to run your operations. It also enables you to tap into a broad spectrum of applicants and train them to know exactly how to produce your desired production results using your own techniques, communication, and work styles –  creating a streamlined process geared for success.

Invest in Employees’ Safety

Increase your retention rate by investing in your current employees’ safety. Make sure your employees have multiple safety certifications in order to guarantee that they’re getting the job done and feel absolutely safe doing it. You want to avoid safety misses at all costs, so consider looking into OSHA training certification programs to mitigate any accidents due to hazardous materials or non-compliance.

Get a Light Industrial Manufacturing Hiring Expert

Partnering with light industrial manufacturing staffing experts will fill roles faster and help hit production goals. Finding the right local, light manufacturing hiring expert who knows how to best sell your niche to their pool of local job seekers can be a game-changer. Professional industrial recruiters will know exactly how to position your open roles to fill them quickly with experienced employees to ensure your company can hit production goals and keep employees safe. These recruiters know how to ignite interest around the benefits of work in this sector, like:

  • career advancement
  • on-the-job training
  • benefits and work perks
  • a direct path to making a career
  • no tremendous student loan debt

When looking for hiring solutions, vet light industrial manufacturing hiring experts for the following:

  • Expertise in the light industrial industry
  • A strong local presence
  • A true partnership mindset with your company’s goals in mind
  • Fast fill times so you can make sure the job is staffed and completed right on time
  • Great onboarding and offboarding resources to help employers be successful

Especially with the challenge of a skilled labor gap, you’re going to want to have “all hands on deck” to ensure your roles get filled and production goals are hit on time.

What To Do Next

Get a consultation call with one of the largest light industrial manufacturing staffing firms in northern California to make sure you learn the best practices and have all the help you need to meet production quotas.

Star Staffing is a Northern-California based recruiter that specializes in light industrial manufacturing. As our partner, you’ll have access to a massive talent pool of work-ready assembly, operation, and production workers in Northern California. Learn more here or contact us at 707-762-4447.


Subscribe to our Star Blog and never miss a post!