Manufacturing News

US teens not interested in manufacturing careers

Manufacturing is not a career choice for a majority of American teenagers, according to a poll released by the US Foundation of Fabricators & Manufacturers Association.

The poll shows 52 percent of teens have little or no interest in a manufacturing career and another 21 percent are ambivalent. When asked why, 61 percent said they sought a professional career, surpassing other issues such as pay (17 percent), career growth (15 percent) and physical work (14 percent).

The association’s founder says manufacturing often is not positioned as a viable career by groups such as educators and counselors, and at times factory work even is maligned in pop culture and the media.

Local industry officials said they recognised the problem years ago and have been working to spark teen interest with a Bots program, where students build remote-controlled robots and face off in an arena-like competition.

Tthe association runs two competitions annually which draw 200 students. It reaches most of the participants by networking with teachers of science, engineering and math classes.

The national survey of 500 teens revealed that six in 10 teens have never visited or toured a factory or other manufacturing facility; only 28 percent have taken an industrial arts or shop class; and nearly three in 10 teens spend no time during the week working with their hands on projects such as woodworking or models.

A separate national poll of 1,000 adults reveals parents actually would support having a young factory worker in their family. More than half — 56 percent — would recommend their child pursue a career in manufacturing or another kind of industrial trade.

The poll results were based on the responses of 500 teens, ages 13 to 17, who participated in a Web survey in September 2009.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend