Published On: August 31st, 2023Categories: Manufacturing Labor Shortage, Mentoring

For years, manufacturing quietly forged the framework of America’s booming industry, often overshadowed and underestimated. Rewind to 2017, when just 27% of Deloitte’s Manufacturing Perception Study respondents were nudging their children towards this sector. Yet, as with numerous facets of modern society, the winds of change brought by the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a fresh perspective on manufacturing.  

Recent findings from the Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute’s 2022 study have thrown light on this evolving sentiment: a striking 61% uptick in the perceived value of manufacturing as a career, complemented by a 13% ascent in those championing these roles for future generations.  

What does that mean for career advancement in manufacturing? With the increase in competition in the field, you do need to make more effort to stand out. Here are our suggestions for making that happen. 

Navigating the Nuances: Manufacturing’s Evolving Reputation 

Manufacturing, once seen as a static sector, is experiencing tectonic shifts that are reshaping its very core. So, staying updated and adaptable in this ever-changing landscape can not only exhibit your industry acumen but also solidify your position within it. 

The onset of smart factories heralds a new age of advanced automation and data exchange. With this comes a heightened emphasis on sustainability and a drive towards carbon neutrality, all intertwined with the inevitable expiration of older factory infrastructure. However, it doesn’t end there. The pandemic’s tidal wave has also rippled through the industry, drastically altering supply chains. This has fueled a growing reshoring movement and a pivot from traditional B2B frameworks to a direct-to-consumer approach. 

It’s evident that the manufacturing sector is no longer just about wielding tools or operating machines. Today, there’s an increasing demand for a diversified skill set. Mastery in logistics, adeptness in customer relations, fluency in emergent technology, among others, are the sought-after hallmarks of the modern manufacturing professional. By honing these advanced skills, you’ll not only be prepared for the industry’s future but will also significantly enhance your career trajectory.  

Empowering Your Future by Pursuing Advanced Expertise 

In the ever-changing world of manufacturing, you can’t just sit back and coast. Continuous learning and persistent professional development have transitioned from being mere advantages to absolute necessities. This proactive approach is paramount in ensuring you not only meet the industry’s demands but also set yourself apart as an exemplary professional. 

Many progressive companies recognize this paradigm shift and, as a result, invest in the educational pursuits of their employees. If your organization is one of them, seize the opportunity! However, if it isn’t, don’t be disheartened. Now more than ever, learning has become easier and more available to everyone. Platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy have loads of courses to help boost your skills in manufacturing. 

So, which areas warrant your attention? The manufacturing sector’s digital transformation has spotlighted the necessity for computer proficiency and data analysis capabilities. Additionally, as industries become more interconnected, cyber security becomes a non-negotiable skill to protect sensitive data. Mastery in communication networks is pivotal in streamlining operations, while understanding collaborative infrastructures ensures a harmonious integration of people and products.  

By embracing these in-demand skills, you’re not just preparing for a job—you’re architecting a prosperous career in manufacturing. 

Building a Solid Foundation: The Power of Hands-on Experience 

Jumping into the manufacturing world can seem daunting. But just like any profession, the best way to truly understand it is to dive right in. While theoretical knowledge is valuable, there’s nothing quite like getting your hands dirty (sometimes literally!) to truly grasp the intricacies of the industry. 

If you’re looking to carve a niche for yourself in manufacturing, starting with internships or apprenticeships can be the gateway. These opportunities allow you to not only learn but to apply your knowledge in real-time. It’s like getting a sneak peek into the daily life of a manufacturing professional—and trust us, this inside view is priceless. 

Starting at an entry-level position might sound unglamorous, but it’s a gold mine of experience. It’s here that you’ll build the foundational skills that employers treasure. As you handle equipment, navigate workflows, and collaborate with seasoned professionals, you’ll cultivate a deep understanding that classroom lessons just can’t cover. 

Moreover, community colleges have recognized the vitality of hands-on experience and now offer specialized apprentice programs in manufacturing. If you’re looking for a more official stamp of approval,, backed by the U.S. Government, offers programs specifically tailored to Advanced Manufacturing. 

Graduating from these programs not only equips you with practical skills but also sends a clear message to potential employers: you’re serious, committed, and ready to contribute from day one. So, as you map out your manufacturing career journey, remember that the road might start with small steps, but it’s these steps that lead to giant leaps in the industry.  

Laying the Path to Landing Your Dream Career: Mastering the Job Search, Networking, and Building Your Resume  

In the realm of manufacturing, as is true in most fields, knowing the craft is only half the battle. The other half? Making sure you’re seen and acknowledged by those in a position to open doors for you. Let’s break down the essentials of your job search journey, ensuring you’re well-prepared at each step. 

Job Hunting 101: Where to Look and How to Stand Out 

In the digital age, countless avenues are at your disposal to scout for job opportunities. Here’s how to maximize them: 

  • Diversify Your Search: Beyond mainstream platforms like Indeed, delve into niche sites like and Not only can you scout for jobs, but these platforms also allow you to position your resume for potential recruiters. 
  • Leverage Additional Resources: Don’t forget the benefits of local manufacturing networks and support groups. They can directly link you with regional companies and headhunters. Plus, staffing agencies, particularly those dedicated to manufacturing, can be pivotal in your job search.  

It’s Who You Know: Making Friends in the Biz 

While skills and experience are indispensable, they become even more significant when combined with the right connections. Remember, the manufacturing domain thrives on referrals and word of mouth. Here’s the truth: It’s not just about who you know, but also about how you maintain those relationships. 

  • Join a Networking Group: Start by seeking out networking groups tailored for manufacturing professionals. These groups can be the bridge connecting you to invaluable contacts within the industry. 
  • Engage Actively: But don’t just be a silent observer. Regularly share insights, offer help, and actively participate in discussions. Over time, your contributions will establish your credibility and professional value within the group. 
  • Fulfill Your Commitments: Say what you’ll do, and then do it. Consistency and reliability can elevate your reputation in any professional circle, making you a preferred choice for referrals and recommendations. 

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Making Your Resume Pop 

Gone are the days when manufacturing was viewed merely as a hands-on job. Today’s manufacturing roles require a blend of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. Here’s how to make your application echo these demands:  

  • Highlight Relevant Experience: Showcase roles that emphasize your hands-on skills, such as assembly line work, CAD, or molding. These experiences speak volumes to manufacturing recruiters. 
  • Clarity is Key: Aim for a crisp, concise resume layout. Utilize bullet points to underscore major achievements, and wherever possible, quantify those achievements. 
  • Mirror the Job Description: Ensure your resume resonates with the language and keywords from the job listing. This not only increases your chances of passing through applicant tracking systems but also strikes a chord with hiring managers.  

In a nutshell, your job application should make it abundantly clear: You’re not only proficient in the tasks you undertake, but you’re also in sync with the evolving ethos of the manufacturing world.   

Take the First Step With LSI Staffing 

Navigating the manufacturing sector might seem overwhelming, but remember: Every expert was once a beginner. Whether you’re absorbing the latest trends, continually boosting your skills or mastering the art of networking and job applications, each step propels you forward in a field that’s teeming with opportunity. 

Now, while all this preparation is essential, having a trusted partner by your side can be a game changer. That’s where LSI Staffing comes in. We’re not just about helping you find a job; we’re dedicated to ensuring it’s the right job for you. Together, let’s forge a path for you that doesn’t just lead to a job, but to a fulfilling and prosperous career in manufacturing. 

So, are you ready to make your mark? Contact us today to inquire about partnering with LSI Staffing, or head right to our job board to start your search.