Two million positions could be left unfulfilled over the next decade in the manufacturing sector unless steps are taken to start filling the talent pipeline, according to a report released by Deloitte.

To help proactively attract potential talent and bring awareness to the industry, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) developed a tool kit for manufacturers and industry partners to use in outreach to their local schools and communities recruiting the next generation of skilled workers. The tool kit was developed over the past several months in response to the workforce shortage affecting the equipment sector – including manufacturers, distributors, operators, and other industry segments.

The tool kit can be accessed at

“With the skills gap this industry is facing, we need to collectively act or risk losing another generation of talent,” said Mark Core, Vermeer Corp. executive vice president and chief marketing officer and AEM Workforce Development Task Force chair. “This industry offers good-paying jobs and exciting career paths, and we need to do a better job of telling that story in classrooms and our communities.”

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AEM worked in close consultation with a task force of equipment manufacturers, dealers and education experts to develop the tool kit. The ideas, activities and sample materials can be customized and applied to workforce development outreach efforts undertaken by any segment of the industry, including equipment distributors and dealers, operators, and other industry stakeholders.

“Equipment manufacturers wanted to develop a resource they could use themselves, but also one they could share with their customer groups and end-users to showcase the opportunities available throughout the industry – whether on the shop floor, at a dealership, or on a job site,” said AEM president Dennis Slater. “This tool kit provides actionable ideas, resources, and support for employers in the equipment sector to kick start their outreach, or build on what they already have underway when it comes to recruiting our future workforce.”

The tool kit is one component of AEM’s overall workforce development program, which also includes a webinar series featuring subject matter experts from a variety of related topics such as veterans hiring, apprenticeships, and third-party partnerships, as well as a scholarship initiative for educators seeking certification to teach equipment-specific courses to high school students.

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