Retiring baby boomers contribute to moldmaking skills gap


The graying of America's moldmakers didn't just happen overnight. We've been aware for quite some time that in 2011 the leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation would turn 65 and the retirement migration would begin. That has a lot of implications for manufacturing.

High-skilled trades such as moldmaking will suffer more than those jobs requiring lower skills, but the time to prepare to replace your retiring Boomers has just about passed. While there is some evidence that those with higher skills tend to work longer, mold manufacturers need to have a program in place to train younger workers while the knowledge base contained in the older workers is still there. Once workers begin reaching retirement age, you can't count on them staying for many years longer.

According to a report compiled by Adecco, a national staffing and employment agency, the current estimated number of Baby Boomers is about 76.4 million, or 25% of the U.S. population. Baby Boomers occupy the majority of skilled trade positions, said the report, [Vocational Skills: What Happens When the Boomers Retire?]. Fortunately for the moldmaking industry the youngest occupations in the skilled trades are lathe and turning machine tool setters where 47% average 45+ years of age with only about 18% averaging 55+ years of age; and Machinists where 46% average 45+ years of age, with only 16% average 55+ years of age.
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