LOWELL, Mass. ,

As a committed technology partner to thousands of manufacturers around the world, Kronos Incorporated continues to embrace organizations and initiatives that inspire the next generation to explore a rewarding career in manufacturing. On Manufacturing Day, the largest manufacturing workforce initiative in the U.S., Kronos and manufacturers unite to change the perception of the industry and close the skills gap by illuminating the industry as an engaging and fulfilling career path for young Millennials and Generation Z1.

News Facts

  • In its sixth year sponsoring Manufacturing Day, held annually on the first Friday in October, Kronos will participate in a showcase of advanced manufacturing concepts facilitated by a coalition of manufacturers on Oct. 1 in Moline, Illinois.
    • The invitation-only event for eighth-grade students will showcase what a future career in manufacturing could look like while providing opportunities to interact with industry leaders from Eastern Iowa Community College; HNI Corporation; John Deere; KONE; M.A. Ford; Quad City Manufacturing Laboratory together with Western Illinois University; RILCO Inc.; Sears Seating; and SSAB.  
  • Manufacturers can attract the next generation workforce by challenging today’s perceptions of the industry.
    • Only 5% of Gen Zers aspire to work in manufacturing. Among females aged 16-25, only 2% want a career in manufacturing – four times fewer than males (8%) – while engineering (5%) and technology (6%) fields ranked similarly low in interest2.
    • Meanwhile, 40% of parents admit they do not have any experience with manufacturing, and few associate the industry with artificial intelligence and machine learning (24%), salaried work (21%), or desirable pay (20%)3.
    • Although the industry produces many of the products that improve our lives each day, less than half of parents (49%) would encourage their child to consider a career in manufacturing, compared to technology (88%) or engineering (82%)3.
  • Showcasing the creative and innovative reality of modern manufacturing while fostering an engaging employee experience will help satisfy the expectations of Gen Z.
    • Parents’ perceptions improve once made aware of the manufacturing industry’s surging growth, strong economic outlook, and wide availability of high paying jobs – after all, 59% of Gen Zers in the U.S. say pay is the most important consideration when applying for their first full-time job2.
    • Once employed, Gen Z will expect their employer to help them maintain work-life balance. In the U.S., 43% say flexible schedules are the key while, globally, 1 in 4 (26%) say flexibility would motivate them to work harder and stay longer at a company, yielding both productivity and retention gains for manufacturers2.
    • Gen Z draws a critical line between manager effectiveness and employee retention: 73% of the next-generation workforce – compared to 68% of current manufacturing employees – say manager relationships would factor heavily when deciding to keep or quit their job4.
  • Speaking recently at the Women in Manufacturing (WiM) SUMMIT, Kronos explored tactics for creating a differentiated employee experience, based on expectations of the future workforce, and advised manufacturers how to remain competitive in the war for new and inspired talent.

Supporting Quote

  • Kylene Zenk, director, manufacturing practice, Kronos
    “Manufacturing Day is a vital effort to combat the growing skilled talent shortage. If we don’t find a way to arm more people with the skills needed to work in the modern manufacturing plant, then millions of jobs will go unfilled, creating a dire situation for employers and the economy at large. Kronos is committed to supporting the grassroots efforts of manufacturers big and small to increase the future talent supply chain and attract, engage, and retain the next-generation workforce.”
  • Mandy Parchert, chair, Manufacturing Sector Board of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois
    “Year-round, and especially around Manufacturing Day, our coalition is focused on meeting the needs of regional employers by working together to close the skills gap of the available workforce, reduce the impact of low unemployment rates by attracting talent to the community, and align skill needs between educational institutions and industry leaders. Our long-term mission is to integrate workforce and economic development strategies to positively impact the advanced manufacturing industry, and partnerships with industry-savvy technology organizations like Kronos are critical in supporting this effort.”

Supporting Resources


About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit www.kronos.com. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

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