Winona has a strong economic footing because of its diverse industrial base. It’s a boon when the national economic picture is both strong and weak. Yet with all the benefits manufacturing brings to a community like Winona, it often receives a bad rap.
This negative perception is due in part to our ever changing world. One reason is an increasing focus on high-tech fields and white collar jobs. They are seen as offering better pay and more opportunities. This results in less encouragement for high school graduates to consider technical vocations and explore the trades. That in turn fuels the growth of the job skills “gap”.
But is perception reflective of reality?
A recent article from CNBC deals with that question. It makes the case that some popular beliefs about manufacturing jobs are nothing more than modern myths.
It explores three popular beliefs. The first is that manufacturing jobs are low paying. The second is that manufacturing jobs present limited opportunities. The third is the perception that manufacturing is a male-only enterprise. The findings show that the first two beliefs are not at all in line with reality. For the third, they did confirm that manufacturing skews toward men, but that does not mean that women need not and should not apply. In fact, a 2014 survey found that the majority of women in manufacturing jobs “found their field offering interesting and challenging work.”
The bottom line is that manufacturing jobs are better paying and offer more opportunities than most of us tend to believe. The article also points out that technological advancement doesn’t work against manufacturing. Advancements continue to open doors for a range of new opportunities and occupations in the next decade.
This is good news for the manufacturing sector, for job seekers and for a generation yet to enter into the job market! For those able and willing to consider a skilled-labor profession, now is as good a time as ever to give a career in manufacturing a second look.