05/09/2021

Manufacturers Struggle to Woo Software Developers

Nearly every industry is looking to hire software engineers and developers. But the manufacturing sector is having particular trouble attracting potential recruits.

As factory floors become more automated and data-driven, companies such as Yaskawa America Inc. need computer engineers but often find themselves outgunned by Silicon Valley tech firms.

“The whole Facebook, social media thing is a big suck on talent,” Chetan Kapoor, an Austin, Texas-based executive at the Japanese industrial robot maker.
Manufacturing isn’t exactly a growth sector, after all. The U.S. lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs between 2007 and 2009, and had gained back only about 800,000 as of September, U.S. Labor Department data show.
The struggle to attract software engineers further complicates the U.S. manufacturing skills gap.

The sector is trying to regain its footing after decades of offshoring production to countries with cheaper labor or more advanced factory technology.
There are plenty of jobs sitting empty, according to the U.S. Labor Department, which reported 337,000 manufacturing openings in the U.S. at the end of August but only 277,000 hires that month.

Software engineering and developing jobs were the second most in demand in manufacturing over the past year, after high-turnover sales positions, according to labor-market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies.

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