As Baby Boomers are beginning to retire, jobs are opening up, thus the Silver Tsunami. According to the latest government data, there are now 522,000 open manufacturing jobs in the United States (an all-time high), and a recent report from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute (the National Association of Manufacturer’s social-impact arm) projects that 2.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled over the next decade.

To fill these jobs more work will need to be done as misconceptions about the industry persist. For example, the study revealed that over half (53%) of the general population assumes the average salary of a mid-level manufacturing manager is under $60,000. In reality, the average salary for a manufacturing manager in 2018 was $118,500, according to the 2018 Salary Survey report from IndustryWeek.  Generation Z grew up in the midst of the Great Recession, watched their older peers accumulate student debt, then struggle to pay it off with low-paying jobs right out of college. They are seeking higher paid jobs in a more transparent and open learning environment, and they’re increasingly open to alternative types of education and training. Barr believes manufacturing jobs can meet their needs and provide the diverse and rewarding work experience they crave.

Bigger cracks are forming across America’s manufacturing foundation as lackluster global demand and persistent trade tensions led to the first contraction in U.S. factory activity since September 2009.  The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to 49.9 from a final July reading of 50.4, according to a preliminary August report Thursday that trailed all estimates in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. Fifty is the dividing lines between expansion and contraction. The reading for the U.S. follow others from Europe and Japan that showed shrinking factory activity.  The U.S. data underscore the challenge of a bifurcated economy faced by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues — a battered manufacturing sector, beset by global fragility and trade tensions, and an invigorated American consumer powered by still-robust employment and incomes. The IHS Markit’s gauge of manufacturing has declined five points since this year’s peak in January, according to the report  which also showed the largest contraction in a decade for domestic orders and bookings from abroad.