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Job seekers: Manufacturing has the jobs

Job seekers in the manufacturing sector received encouraging news recently: Manufacturing technology orders are up, according to the United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report jointly compiled by the American Machine Tool Distributors Association (AMTDA) and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

The increase is huge, more than 100% from 2010 to 2011 in the production and distribution of manufacturing technology. Further, the Midwest with a whopping 168.5% increase led the five geographical areas.

After seeing results of research, Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist with the Herman Group, said she believes that advanced manufacturing is the best hope for reviving the manufacturing sector. “Embracing automation as part of the culture is vital. We have seen too many clients give up in frustration and walk away from thousands of dollars (sometimes millions) invested in new software and systems,” Gioia said.

At first glance, further automation may seem like a grand plan for employers but not such a positive solution for job seekers. However, automation requires developers, trainers, monitors, quality controllers, and many other human workers. Those are job opportunities for employees willing to take advantage of the changes in the sector.

Gioia also says this is only the beginning of the US growth, so change will not come overnight, giving employees time to adapt their career paths to an even more technological future.

What can you do to get ready?

  1. Assess whether your job is likely to weather an increase in manufacturing technology.
  2. If it is, stay at the top of your game and continuously monitor the atmosphere.
  3. If you are likely to “be replaced by technology,” find out what kind and if your knowledge and training can be applied in the new system, perhaps in a new way or at a different level.
  4. Decide if you need more or different training, where it is available, and how long it will take to complete.
  5. Determine if funds are available to help with the transition and apply for them early.
  6. Obtain as much training and education as possible in the new technology.
  7. Make it known in your company (and others) that you are ready, willing, and qualified to take the next step.

Some material from ‘The Herman Trend Alert,’ by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or http://www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc.

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