Episode 31: The Silver Tsunami: Manufacturing Is At A Labor Crossroads

The manufacturing industry in the US is in the midst of a silver tsunami: aging workers who are retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day, a rate projected to continue until 2030. The industry employs nearly 9% of the American workforce, so such a loss of talent, knowledge and experience will have a severe impact on the economy unless something is done. Raising wages in the short term may help but it can trigger its own negative consequences like inflation.

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we’ll examine the impact and cost of a retiring workforce and some possible solutions that will help sustain overall economic growth. Some of the solutions can be implemented quickly, but others will take years to bear fruit.

Our guests include David Morley, Gerent’s Manufacturing Practice Lead and Charlie Commisso, VP of Human Resources for Niacet Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture of specialty chemicals.

The manufacturing industry in the US is in the midst of a silver tsunami: aging workers who are retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day, a rate projected to continue until 2030. The industry employs nearly 9% of the American workforce, so such a loss of talent, knowledge and experience will have a severe impact on the economy unless something is done. Raising wages in the short term may help but it can trigger its own negative consequences like inflation.

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we’ll examine the impact and cost of a retiring workforce and some possible solutions that will help sustain overall economic growth. Some of the solutions can be implemented quickly, but others will take years to bear fruit.

Our guests include David Morley, Gerent’s Manufacturing Practice Lead and Charlie Commisso, VP of Human Resources for Niacet Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture of specialty chemicals.

Key Ideas:

2:31 – The silver tsunami is quickly becoming the biggest problem in manufacturing today

6:39 – Skilled manufacturing roles will be hit the hardest by retiring workers

9:28 – To attract new workers, manufacturers must fight the bias that a manufacturing job is a lousy job

13:47 – A real-life story that demonstrates how education and manufacturing can solve the issue of finding and keeping new workers

16:33 – It’s imperative to create roles that young employees will embrace and grow with

Episode Guests:

David Morley

Manufacturing Practice Lead, Gerent

David Morley is a 30-year manufacturing veteran and early Salesforce adopter. Over the course of his career, he has achieved international success in sales, marketing, operations, turnarounds, business development, startups, and strategic planning.

Charlie Commisso

VP of Human Resources for Niacet Corporation

Niacet Corporation is a global leader in chemicals for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Charlie has spent over 20 years in high level human resources roles at manufacturing firms across the U.S., guiding workforces to drive organizational growth and effectiveness.