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January 20, 2006
Manufacturers Report Shortage of Qualified Workers

Eighty percent of manufacturers say they are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers, according to a survey released by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute, and Deloitte Consulting LLP.

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An even greater number (90 percent) report a shortage report a moderate or severe shortage of qualified skilled production workers.

Many manufacturers say the shortages are affecting their ability to meet customer demands.

"The talent shortage is not a theoretical or distant problem," says Richard Kleinert of Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Eighty-three percent of respondents indicated these shortages are currently affecting their ability to meet customer demands, with more than half reporting difficulty achieving necessary production levels and 43 percent reporting difficulties increasing productivity."

Manufacturers are also concerned about the skill set of current employees. Kleinert notes that 46 percent reported inadequate problem-solving skills among employees and more than a third cited insufficient reading, writing, and communications skills in the workplace

"Manufacturers face the additional challenge of poor skill levels among current employees,"says Kleinert. "As employers, manufacturers need to do more to develop and engage their employees."

The survey included responses from more than 800 manufacturers.

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