Manufacturing today is not dead; it’s just different. New machineries and materials, increased automation and smarter logistics define modern manufacturing. Despite the fact that compensation is, on average, more than twice the state average, manufacturers struggle to attract new workers. Many students, teachers, and parents view the sector through an outdated lens: requiring few skills, offering low wages and lacking career options.
To facilitate a better connection between manufacturing businesses and education, IEI partnered with the NC Association of County Commissioners, NC Cooperative Extension and the NC Community College System to co-host community forums throughout counties in NC. These forums brought together manufacturers, educators, city and county officials and other community leaders to focus on better aligning needs of manufacturing businesses with local educational systems. The ideas provided below originated from the forums.