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05/8 2011

US Manufacturing Hiring — The Numbers Are Up!

While manufacturing lay-offs have captured media attention as of late, US firms are now actively searching for skilled workers in high schools, in community colleges, and in the ranks of the military.

As reported in a recent Wall Street Journal article, some manufacturers are stealing employees from other industries, are retraining displaced white collar workers, and in some cases are even hiring former prisoners who learned machinist skills while behind bars.

US manufacturers added 25,000 workers to their payrolls in April, the seventh straight quarer of modest employment gains in the manufacturing industry.

While the increase in the number of manufacturing jobs has plants scrambling to find employees, other factors are also making hiring more difficult.  For example, the first wave of baby boomer retirements is making it harder for plants to find experienced workers.  In addition, the US educational system does not actively promote industrial trades as a course of study for high school students.

As these manufacturers hire new workers, it will be important to identify job seekers who will work safely, who will be dependable, and who will exhibit a strong work ethic.   Job candidates are best evaluated via a structured selection process, which includes a systematic review of prior experienced, a structured interview, and the administration of assessment instruments designed to measure safety orientation, dependability, and work ethic.

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