Key Growth Sector

Advanced Manufacturing

About this Sector

Over the next decade, manufacturing employers need to fill 533,000 middle-skilled jobs that currently pay at least $35,000 per year. Currently women hold only 7% of these jobs. Many women hold certificates and work in similar but lower-paid occupations. Manufacturing provides more middle-skill job opportunities than most other industries, with higher earnings, and a greater likelihood that jobs come with benefits such as retirement contributions or healthcare insurance. Manufacturing is a vital and dynamic part of the U.S. economy.

Job growth combined with the need to train a new generation of skilled workers to replace those moving towards retirement provides an opportunity to improve the diversity of the workforce and increase the number of women working in these occupations. For women, training for one of the target jobs in manufacturing can provide earnings sufficient to support a family.

Job Moves that Increase Women's Wages

How to Improve Women's Access in Advanced Manufacuring

Employers in manufacturing recognize that increased diversity is a necessary part of addressing their talent needs. The Institute for Manufacturing lists a range of initiatives for employers – from explicitly including women in all recruitment and outreach materials, to mentoring programs and internship opportunities, and flexible working policies to support work-life balance. The American Apprenticeship initiative supports several apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing that are focused on inclusive training opportunities. Pre-apprenticeship programs in some regions offer women-only programs in manufacturing.

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