Recruiting the Next Workforce

Earlier this week, blogger Carter Wood reported directly from Indiana on the roll out there of the southeast Indiana Dream It Do It campaign that will ensure a steady stream of skilled workers for that region’s manufacturers. (Here and here.) It’s so important for the future that Governor Mitch Daniels participated in the launch.

The Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers are not alone in having a concern about the lack of a skilled workforce. Companies around the country are seeking ways to make sure this dire forecast does not come true. An AP story earlier this week focused on the aerospace industry and how they are tackling it. Not long ago, I was on a panel with a Lockheed Martin speaker and he said the average age of their top engineers was about 50, many having early retirement in sight. According to the article one in four aerospace workers will be eligible to retire in 2008. How to replace so many talented employees?

Boeing and other companies in the Aerospace Industries Association are supplementing traditional recruiting with a greater use of the Internet. One prospective MIT engineering student was attracted to an Boeing ad on Last year, Boeing sponsored a contest on Facebook and young people who listened to a short promotional and clever quiz were eligible to win an iPod Nano or iTunes giftcard. Boeing tied this contest to their overall recruitment efforts. Lockheed Martin started a chat room earlier this year on its Web site so potential employees can instant message with recruiters to get their questions answered.

To read the article, which appeared in the Miami Herald and other papers around the country, click here.