North American manufacturing needs engineers who can think differently than previous generations. So why is the U.S. struggling with skills for additive manufacturing?
Five years ago, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published a report that addressed skilled worker shortages in U.S. manufacturing. The report noted that American companies were not doing enough to cultivate a new generation of skilled manufacturing workers and that they’ve actually scaled back their in-house training over the years. Another BCG study conducted last year found that the problem is particularly acute for additive manufacturing (AM), where the skills gap is growing and not shrinking. The newer study revealed that only 34 percent of U.S. manufacturing executives have implemented additive manufacturing initiatives in their companies.
The skills gap may not be the only reason companies are lagging. AM does, after all, require significant capital investment. Still, it’s a real problem. Evolving AM techniques are increasing the demand for an industrial workforce that is capable of applying 3D printing to real-world production, according to an article published last year in Additive Manufacturing.
Three major factors are contributing to the ever-widening skills gap for AM in North America…Read more