COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates Shift in Supply Chains and Increases Need for Advanced Manufacturing Skills

COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates Shift in Supply Chains and Increases Need for Advanced Manufacturing Skills

by Amy Lamperti, June 24, 2020

Like all businesses, U.S. based advanced manufacturers are facing a brave new world as a result of COVID -19. 

Unanticipated disruption to their supply chains, workforce uncertainty and entirely new cost versus risk models are causing local manufacturers to re-think and re-assess their business operations and strategies.  

Here are the top areas of concern: 

  • Understanding the reliability of existing sourcing models 
  • Managing long and inflexible supply chains 
  • Making the supply chain dramatically more transparent, predictable and resilient 
  • Adapting to issues around rising costs and diminishing quality  
  • Identifying and mitigating security risks  
  • Addressing evolving issues with tariffs and trade restrictions 

As a result of this growing list of concerns in a world turned upside down by the onset of the Coronavirusmany things are happening.  

The Federal Government is aggressively creating incentives to bring manufacturing back to the United States. Ideas in Congress like “pay to stay” and tax incentives are gaining supportAccording to a recent survey, 64% of companies across manufacturing and industrial sectors are likely to bring production and sourcing back to North America. ¹ 

Shifting supply chains will increase business opportunities and create demand for a higher skilled labor force at the same time as an aging workforce is looking to retire. The jobs that need to be filled require specialized manufacturing skills and employees who know how to operate more automated and digitally connected equipment. The government recognizes this and is actively funding apprenticeship programs to help fill this growing skills gap.  

One example of this is the NJIT Advanced Manufacturing Program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.  This program provides a clear path, and subsidized funding, for companies that want to enhance the skill sets of their current employeesThe goal is to fill the growing skills gap that has been expected to leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfulfilled between 2018 and 2028²  

The Advanced Manufacturing Program available through NJIT include modules or courses in the following topics: 

  • Mechatronics 
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) 
  • Plastics Technician 
  • Industrial Manufacturing Technician 
  • Bio- Pharma Technician 
  • Front Line Supervisor 
  • Project Management 

If you are one of the many companies that needs to prepare your workforce to meet the changing needs of your business learn more about how apprenticeship programs work by attending one of our upcoming interactive webinars or visiting our website for more information.