APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

More on the Skilled Labor Shortage

by APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi CSCP, CPA, CAE | N/A 2012 | 0 | 0
Lately, all the major media outlets are reporting on the need for skilled labor in manufacturing. And while this isn't a new problem, it is getting renewed attention as US leaders attempt to address persistent unemployment. The bottom line is good jobs exist, but qualified candidates are scarce.

In fact, according to an October 2011 survey by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, there could be as many as 600,000 skilled positions in the United States that can't be filled. "Ironically, even as unemployment numbers remain bleak, a talent shortage threatens the future effectiveness of the American manufacturing industry," says Craig Giffi, Deloitte's vice chair and consumer and industrial products industry leader.

This week, the Chicago Tribune referenced this survey and reported that manufacturers throughout Illinois are creating their own training programs and partnering with high schools and colleges to educate young people about manufacturing careers. The article quotes Doug Parsons, president and chief executive of Excel Foundry & Machine. "We've come to the conclusion that the pool of qualified, trained, experienced workers is not sufficient to meet demand," Parsons says.

So, where does operations management fit into this present jobs scenario? According to US News and World Report, it fits in very well. This week, the publication named business operations manager to its list of the best jobs of 2012. Consider the numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median wage for operations managers is $94,400, with pay for one-quarter of workers reaching $142,030 or more. Additionally, more than 80,000 operations management jobs will need to be filled between 2010 and 2020. 

Landing a better job

I've said before that APICS is a valuable resource for supply chain and operations management professionals who are building their careers. US News and World Report underscores the important role APICS plays. The US News article extensively quotes Eric Schaudt, manager of operations programs, material planning, and analysis at Northrop Grumman and 2011 chair of the APICS Board of Directors.

"A lot of companies use [APICS] certifications as search criteria and filter their candidates as whether they are certified or not certified."

For unemployed workers, Schaudt also comments on the value of APICS networking. "We encourage people to go to meetings, hand out their résumés, and start to build a network among the operations management profession. The best way to break into a profession is to build a professional network. A lot of the time, this can and does lead to a job interview."

Are you fully capitalizing on this proven need for operations management professionals? Earning your APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation will show you are a leader in this exciting field. Learn more about the APICS CPIM and local networking opportunities by visiting the new APICS website at apics.org. From there, you can join the APICS CPIM Interest community on the APICS Supply Chain Channel.

Additionally, APICS will participate in a live chat on Twitter with US News and World Report March 14 at 1:30 p.m. (ET). We invite you to join in the conversation @USNewsCareers. Be sure to use the hashtag #BestJobs and include @Tweet_APICS to have your words featured on the APICS homepage.  

In other news

Related APICS education

How APICS Operations Management Now relates to you

Operations management is everywhere. Today, operations management professionals have unprecedented impacts on the global economy. Consider these questions and how today's edition of APICS Operations Management Now relates to you and your career.

  • Are there positions at your organization that managers struggle to fill? If so, in what fields are these jobs?
  • Do you agree that operations manager is one of the best careers in 2012? What factors do you think are contributing to its rise?
  • Have APICS certifications made a difference in your career prospects? How?

All comments will be published pending approval. Read the APICS Comment Policy.


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