homepage | Kansas Manufacturers Need Qualified Candidates to Fill Positions 

October 24, 2023

Kansas Manufacturers Need Qualified Candidates to Fill Positions 

by Pete Dulin

UMKC TalentLink and WorkForge offer skills training to help address the growing need among Kansas manufacturers for qualified workers.

Ninety percent of Kansas manufacturers agree it is difficult to attract qualified candidates to fill open positions, according to a 2022 industry survey released by Kansas Manufacturing Solutions. The 2021 Kansas Manufacturing Industry Questionnaire results yielded similar findings. Workforce availability is a persistent challenge for manufacturers throughout the state and could potentially limit company growth. The demand for entry-level and skilled workers means that many employment opportunities exist for job seekers. 

Recognizing the importance of this labor issue, UMKC TalentLink partnered with WorkForge in fall of 2023 to provide manufacturing skills training. Online skills training courses and career pathways can benefit aspiring job seekers and career switchers. Employers can also utilize this workforce development option as an effective, efficient way to train new hires.  

More than 2,400 manufacturing firms are based in Kansas and employ 165,000 workers. Fabricated metal, machinery manufacturing, and food manufacturing are some of the top six manufacturing industries, per the report. 

To train workers for roles in these industries and other top fields, UMKC TalentLink and WorkForge offer skills training in Aerospace, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Food Safety and Production, Industrial Maintenance, Robotics, and Welding. 

Retirement is expected to increase among older workers. The 2022 report indicates that in the next three years, 47 percent of manufacturers project that up to 15 percent of their workforce will retire, up 11 percent over 2021. Further, 16 percent of manufacturers say more than 15 percent of their workforce will retire. Given this trend, the need to recruit and hire the next generation of workers is evident.

Younger generations have a prime opportunity to enter an industry that needs workers for well-paying jobs. Manufacturing is a viable career option for future high school graduates who prefer to enter a skilled trade. Similarly, younger workers who seek to switch jobs will find numerous options in manufacturing with room for growth.  

In fact, 62 percent of manufacturers in the survey said they will replace retiring workers through recruitment. Having the right skills is a smart way to increase the likelihood of getting hired. 

Prospective entry-level workers and people seeking additional training can learn practical manufacturing skills in a short timeframe. Online courses provide flexibility to study and complete training. WorkForge manufacturing training is affordable, a smart way to avoid significant debt from student loans. Completing skills training gives applicants an edge when job hunting with manufacturers seeking qualified candidates.  

Learn more about available online manufacturing skills training courses and how to get started.