December 7, 2023


One Voice Washington Office:
410 First Street SE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20003
Paul Nathanson
2001 M Street NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036

Workforce Recruitment and Training

Message to Congress - Support manufacturing in America through workforce development, job training, recruitment, and placement programs. 

Focus on CTE programs and support Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Support skills certifications and national industry-recognized employee credentialing.

A new Higher Education Act should promote credentials and allow for short-term skills training grants.


Job recruitment, training, and retention, as well as advanced technical education, are critical to the future of manufacturing in America. After the Great Recession, manufacturing job openings increased by 200% from 2009-2012. In April 2020, 311,000 manufacturing jobs remained unfilled, and millions of manufacturing employees are expected to retire in the coming years. Adults aged 18-22 are more likely than ever to consider a career in the manufacturing industry, with 32% having manufacturing suggested to them as a career option. However, misconceptions about the industry still exist, with 53% of the general population assuming the average salary of a mid-level manufacturing manager is under $60,000. In reality, the average salary for a manufacturing manager in 2018 was $118,500. Congress should spread the message to parents, educators, and policymakers at all levels of government about the well-paying careers available in the precision machining industry. Elected officials should pass laws that promote manufacturing in America and support worker training.

As manufacturers hope to increase their sales, the lack of qualified workers is the greatest impediment to growth. Companies cannot afford to turn away business because they lack the employees to fulfill new job orders, especially as a 2018 study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute revealed that the skills gap will leave 2.4 million manufacturing positions unfilled from 2018-2028. 

One Voice members and manufacturers across the country provide family-sustaining careers with salaries far exceeding minimum wage. With the total student loan debt growing to $1.64 trillion, students investing in postsecondary education often don’t know what to expect from specific programs as the law restricts the reporting of postsecondary outcomes. Tuition as well as employment and earning outcomes should be made available to inform student decisions.

Manufacturers need a new source of workers in order to establish a pipeline which will supply employers with a steady stream into the future. This means tapping new resources. One Voice members launched NTMA-U for remote learning, METALFORM EDU, the Center for Metalforming Careers, and National Robotics League to attract young people to manufacturing. They also are supporters of the Women in Manufacturing Association, whose mission is to support, promote and inspire women in the manufacturing industry



Congress should:

  • Support passage of a new Higher Education Act that supports pathways to industry-recognized credentials;
  • Support reauthorization and expansion of the National Apprenticeship Act
  • Support the JOBS Act (H.R. 3497/S. 839) to expand federal Pell Grants to allow the use of grants to earn short-term credentials as well as for students with criminal convictions;
  • Support the College Transparency Act (H.R. 1766/S. 800) to provide transparency for students for tuition and postsecondary outcomes;
  • Support increased funding for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program (MEP); 
  • Support the expansion of work-based learning and apprenticeships;
  • Support industry-community college partnerships to develop an in-demand skills pipeline;
  • Support legislation such as the Employer Participation in Repayment Act (H.R. 1043), expanding Section 127 employer-provided tuition benefits to allow for tuition reimbursement.



For More info on Workforce Recruitment and Training from One Voice: