Tennessee manufacturers seek workers as industry rebounds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee manufacturers are in need of young employees as the industry rebounds and older manufacturing workers retire.

State Economic and Community Development commissioner Randy Boyd tells the Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/2f9AKGW) that of the 344,000 manufacturing workers in Tennessee, about 77,000 will retire in the next decade. Boyd’s department has been trying to introduce students to manufacturing, but he says many students associated manufacturing jobs with stagnant wages, undesirable work conditions and uncertain prospects.

Boyd says the jobs are actually high paying, high-quality and high-demand.

Government departments, companies and schools are taking steps to remedy this problem. General Motors has sponsored camps and Bridgestone has helped develop a high school automotive program.

Programs promoted by Gov. Bill Haslam have helped increase enrollment at the 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology campuses.