Finding millennials who are interested in manufacturing and have the aptitude for it are two challenges facing Western Pennsylvania manufacturers trying to replace retiring baby boomers. But there’s another: teaching millennials once they find them.
Employers are discovering that the next generation of workers learns differently than they did.
“Millennials like to see results right now,” said Scott Covert, who runs an in-house training program at Penn United Technologies, a Butler County tool-and-die shop that employs about 600.
That requires online courses and lots of hands-on work where students learn practical applications of theory.
About 2.7 million manufacturing workers are expected to retire in the next eight years or so, according to the Manufacturing Institute, the research arm of the National Association of Manufacturers. While the economy and a lack of retirement savings may persuade some boomers to work a few more years, manufacturers know they will eventually have to replace them.
Read more: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette