Manufacturing industry needs to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Many industries throughout the pandemic have faced some sort of labor shortage, but manufacturing companies say they’ve had a talent gap since before the pandemic.

“Unbelievably it seems like there’s no one in the market looking for jobs,” 425 Manufacturing President, Mike Thomason said. “There’s just not many people in manufacturing. There’s not many people coming out of schooling, and if you want somebody out there you have to take them from somebody, and you have to pay the money to take them.”

“You have to put out higher wages, and you have to have better benefits, and clean, organized shop is really the way to go,” he explained.

Sarah Hartwick with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association made a stop at Rock Valley College on Wednesday.

“The manufacturing industry has an aging employee, and those employees are getting ready to retire,” she said.

Nationally, there’s over 800,000 open positions, and an additional 300,000 jobs could be up for grabs once the current workforce retires in about 10 years.

That’s something Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. officials said they’re trying to figure out how to face.

“We have the people willing to train, it’s getting people in the door to start learning from them before they leave is a struggle,” Anntonisha Williams, Director of Human Resources at Ingersoll Machine Tools, said.

It’s a problem older than the pandemic.

“it seems like manufacturing is something in Rockford where there’s just more opportunities and it’s kind of unlimited opportunities if you want to work hard,” Thomason said.

That work is oftentimes seen as the backbone of communities.

“We need people to come to work so we can continue to grow, and be able to bring more opportunity to Rockford and Illinois in the form of jobs,” Williams said.

Ingersoll job application link.

Job opportunities at 425 Manufacturing link.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Video

Trending Stories