Opinion: Indiana Manufacturing Facing Skilled-Worker Shortage

This Op-Ed piece from Carolyn Lee originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star.

“Indianapolis is moving forward thanks to the strength of its manufacturers. As health care professionals did their crucial work to slow the spread of COVID-19, local manufacturers worked around the clock to support them.

Manufacturers made personal protective equipment and began development of vaccines and therapeutics, while simultaneously ensuring stores had all the household items they needed.

But even though Indiana has a strong manufacturing economy, making it a powerhouse in the fight to beat the pandemic, there are still not enough Hoosiers joining the industry. Manufacturers across the country are all rallying behind the same message: “Creators wanted.”

The manufacturing worker shortage isn’t just the result of uncertain economic conditions. A 2018 study from the Manufacturing Institute – the organization I lead and the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers – and Deloitte found that, nationwide, the industry would need to fill 4.6 million manufacturing jobs by 2028. As many as 2.4 million could go unfilled.

Yet, even with a shortage of skilled workers, the industry has proved to be an enduring presence across Indiana.”

Click here to read the entire opinion piece from Carolyn Lee at


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