A skilled workforce is fundamental to a prosperous North American metals industry, yet we face serious education and training challenges that threaten our productivity and competitiveness. The United States faces a growing “skills gap” that makes it increasingly difficult for manufacturers to hire workers qualified for the well-paying jobs our industry provides. A 2015 study found manufacturing companies lose an average $14,000 for every job that goes unfilled for three months or more, and that those vacancies negatively impact employee morale and productivity. The metals and broader manufacturing industries also must contend with a broken immigration system that does not encourage the world’s best and brightest workers and entrepreneurs to come to the United States to live, innovate and start businesses.

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Why It Matters

North American manufacturers require a skilled workforce to compete in the global marketplace. Federal lawmakers must ensure our education and training systems prepare today’s students for the 21st century economy. They must also reform our immigration system so the United States can remain a global leader in manufacturing and attract the world’s most motivated and innovative workers, investors and entrepreneurs.

Our Principles

Policymakers must –

  • Streamline federal job training programs and accurately assess industry and labor market trends to better train workers to meet employer and market demands.
  • Support the vocational education, apprenticeships, job training and certification programs that will teach workers the skills they will need to fill the jobs of the 21st century.
  • Require a well-rounded, quality K–12 education system.
  • Limit burdensome labor and employment regulations.
  • Pass commonsense immigration reforms that ensure access to both low- and high-skilled workers

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