Changing Public Perception of Manufacturing

 In Blog

Manufacturing plays a key role in society, providing the products and infrastructure needed for cultures around the world. But if you work in the industry, you know how difficult it is to get younger generations excited about working in manufacturing. Changing public perception of manufacturing has to be a priority for companies if they want to maintain a steady workforce in the future.

The Bias Against Manufacturing

The public sees manufacturing work as dirty, unsafe, and tedious. This is especially true of young professionals, who tend to have biases against trade jobs. They grew up surrounded by advanced technology and want to work in an environment that allows them to work closely with technology. Many assume manufacturing facilities still have the same look and feel they had fifty years ago. These days, facilities are much cleaner and safer than they used to be. They also incorporate many unexpected and innovative technologies.

Understand the How

People form their ideas about a job based on what they see and hear. Most of the public, however, don’t interact with manufacturers or their facilities. Instead, manufacturing tends to get lumped in with other trades that the public has more exposure to, such as construction. Most young professionals have no idea what it is like to work in a factory because they’ve never seen one in action. To improver public perception, you may need to go out of your way to invite the public into your space. For example, you can take pictures and videos of your factory to give candidates a better idea of what the work environment is like. You can also reach out to school campuses and educate students about the realities of manufacturing work.

Connect with What the Public Values

You won’t attract talent by emphasizing your desperation. The public doesn’t care that there is a labor crisis in manufacturing or understand the effect this shortage could have. You have to think about what they do care about. For example, they care about sustainability and the environment. Think about how your facility contributes to sustainability issues. As part of the manufacturing industry, you can help control the narrative. The public needs to see that the manufacturing workplace is modern, high-tech, and environmentally conscientious.

A gradual shift away from trade work toward service and white-collar work has negatively impacted public perception of the manufacturing industry. With the current talent shortage, the future of the industry depends on companies’ ability to attract new talent to manufacturing. Once you understand how public perception is formed, you can help contribute to the broad goal of changing how the public perceives manufacturing.


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