Workforce Development

Workforce Development

About Workforce Development

MxD can help communities build a manufacturing workforce of the future. With programs in places ranging from high school to the factory floor, MxD focuses on helping companies train and retain skilled workers who are nimble and digitally savvy. It’s a dire problem, as manufacturing is facing both a skills gap — with about 500,000 industry jobs vacant — and a perception gap. Many students and their families lack an accurate understanding of a modern factory environment, and we are working to rectify that.
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What Is Workforce Development?

Workforce development improves a region’s economy by aligning its people with market needs. In manufacturing, the challenges around workforce often begin in the home, where one study found that just one in every three parents would encourage their child to go into manufacturing. It stretches all the way into corporate leadership as executives struggle to keep up with the latest technologies and practices.

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What Does MxD Do?

MxD Learn is MxD’s workforce development program, and it’s helping to build manufacturing talent starting as early as high school. In partnership with other Manufacturing USA institutes, MxD Learn is testing a three-year digital manufacturing curriculum and developing a separate four-week awareness program for high school students. With ManpowerGroup, MxD also has created job titles and descriptions for 165 manufacturing jobs of the future and soon will release a new batch focused specifically on cybersecurity jobs. It also is launching a manufacturing apprenticeship program for high school graduates in partnership the City of Chicago.

Testimonials

 “When someone has a job to do and a new, unfamiliar digital tool is introduced, it can be challenging for an existing workforce to adopt the new process and advanced technology. The development of the existing workforce to accept and leverage these tools is one of the biggest challenges I see today in the U.S. workforce.”

Barry Chapman
Barry Chapman

Vice President of Aerospace & Defense, Federal and Marine Industries, Siemens Digital Industries

“Many people wonder: Am I still going to be able to do my job in two years, in five years? Our ability to position them to be productive is very important. Our workforce program at MxD will help us with employee retraining and engagement.”

Ademola Idowu
Ademola Idowu

Senior Research Scientist & Innovation Program Leader, Dow

“We expect to take our high school manufacturing curriculum national, introducing young people to a manufacturing industry that looks nothing like the one their parents knew.”

Chandra Brown
Chandra Brown

CEO, MxD

Facts & Figures

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Facts & Figures

How big is the skills gap?

Facts & Figures

It will leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion, according to Deloitte.

Facts & Figures

What is causing the skills shortage?

Facts & Figures

Most manufacturers believe the No. 1 cause is “shifting skill set due to the introduction of new advanced technology automation” followed by “negative perception of students/their parents toward the manufacturing industry,” according to Deloitte.

Facts & Figures

Which digital engineering jobs are in high demand?

Facts & Figures

By 2020, the lack of data science specialists/analysts will prevent three-fourths of all businesses from maximizing their IoT goals, according to Gartner.

Facts & Figures

Is there a short-term fix to the skills gap?

Facts & Figures

One method is to offer pay increases and signing bonuses to skilled workers. Deloitte found an 11% increase in executives willing to do that from 2015 to 2018. However, long-term solutions will require collaboration among government and industry.

More Success Stories

Defining the Jobs of the Future

In 2017, MxD (under its previous name, DMDII) and ManpowerGroup released a digital workforce taxonomy, a groundbreaking analysis that identified 165 new data-centric manufacturing jobs—roles like “collaborative robotics technician” and “predictive maintenance systems specialist.” 

Warning Manufacturers of Part, Materials Delays

Dow, Microsoft, ITAMCO, and two universities are teaming up to build a supply chain risk alert system that will warn manufacturers further down the supply chain of delays caused by emergencies, weather or natural disasters.

Reducing Volumetric Error

Caterpillar and researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign generated new algorithms and methods for using laser trackers and scanners in manufacturing large cast parts.

Digitizing Legacy Machines

Replacing or modifying legacy machines sometimes is too expensive or would disrupt production or void a warranty. So MxD funded the development of a sensor retrofit kit that communicates data through an industry standard MTConnect interface to a cloud dashboard.