Manufacturers must do a better job promoting their growth and training workers for the high skilled jobs available in the industry, Kennametal chairman, president and CEO Carlos Cardoso said today.
Americans do not know manufacturing is leading the economic recovery and that there are manufacturing jobs available, according to a survey conducted by the Latrobe toolmaker.
"People think we don't make anything any more," Mr. Cardoso said in the webcast of his appearance at the National Press Club in Washington. "They're wrong. We do. It's time for the industry to reintroduce itself to the American public."
He said about 600,000 manufacturing jobs are currently available. And he forecast growth of 3.4 percent in manufacturing this year that would create another 170,000 jobs.
Based on studies by two manufacturing groups, more job opportunities will be created over the next decade as 2.7 million manufacturing workers retire, he said.
Many of those jobs go unfilled because workers do not have the skills and training required, Mr. Cardoso said. Yet 70 percent of those surveyed mistakenly believe the lack of jobs is a more serious issue than the lack of training needed to perform those jobs, he said.
"We have a responsibility to educate people about these opportunities and build the manufacturing work force of the future," he said.
Mr. Cardoso is co-chairman of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's manufacturing council and chairman of the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, an industry-funded research group.
Kennametal sponsors a 15-week program with Greater Latrobe High School to introduce students to manufacturing and give them guidance on how to pursue a career in it. Mr. Cardoso said the company will start a similar program at a Cleveland, Ohio, high school in the next school year and will expand it to other cities where the company has a presence.
Len Boselovic: email@example.com or 412-263-1941.