Jobs that have traditionally required a four-year college degree are increasingly accepting applicant skills and experience instead, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription). The reason? The still-tight labor market.

What’s going on: “Companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Delta Air Lines Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. have reduced educational requirements for certain positions and shifted hiring to focus more on skills and experience.”

The NAM’s take: “As the manufacturing industry works to increase equity and parity for underrepresented communities, identifying and reevaluating job requirements allows manufacturers to diversify their talent and gain a competitive advantage,” explained Manufacturing Institute Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Inclusion AJ Jorgenson.

  • “The MI is working directly with manufacturers to evaluate their job requirements and eliminate any potential for unconscious bias in hiring. The MI continues to lead the industry in identifying and addressing all systemic barriers to create and sustain a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Immigration and workforce: NAM noted that despite the addition of 14,000 jobs in November, manufacturing continues to see a workforce gap of about 830,000 every month. But there’s a solution we’ve been overlooking, he continued.

  • “We have 100,000 Ukrainians we invited here,” Timmons told Yahoo! Finance anchor Seana Smith. “We have 100,000 Afghans that we invited here. But we don’t give them the ability to work. We don’t give them a work permit. They’re in line, waiting to get that work permit. That’s just crazy. We have 200,000 people that could work today if we could just get through the bureaucracy.”

Talent: “Right now, things are very good in the sector, and I think it portends for a bright future for the economy,” Timmons told Michael Santoli on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” However, filling open jobs remains a top priority.

“The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute have a ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign [that’s] trying to inspire that next generation, trying to bring more women into the workforce, trying to bring veterans into the workforce, working on second chance hiring,” Timmons said. “We’re doing everything we can to attract folks into the sector, and I think we’re being successful in doing that.”