- With a $1.2 billion manufacturing facility scheduled to open in South Carolina in September, Volvo has partnered with a local college to fill the 1,500 jobs the plant will need to run, The Post and Courier reports.
- The company has joined forces with ReadySC, part of the state’s technical college system, which will recruit and train a substantial portion of the needed workers. About half of the workforce is already on site, the report says, but jobs in maintenance and and production have been difficult to fill and remain largely vacant.
- Ready SC is reporting that few of those who applied are meeting basic requirements, but the company's CEO told The Post and Courier that he's optimistic: “The most important job is not hiring people, but developing them within our culture, because this is a great company. Employees are investments, and investments are things you have to take care of."
Gustafsson’s focus on developing staff mirrors other recent calls for organizations to improve organizational culture and hire those who can learn the the necessary skills, rather than waiting for those who already have them. Such moves can help speed talent acquisition, but also boost retention as well.
Volvo joins a growing list of companies feeling the skills gap in manufacturing. Estimates put the amount of unfilled openings across production plants at over 300,000 in 2017 – the highest in over a decade. With an aging manufacturing workforce, those numbers are expected to increase.
Employers in manufacturing have taken various creative steps to address the skills gap. Like Volvo, Toyota and Mazda have partnered with local government and nonprofits in Alabama. And to lure jobs to their state, many communities are offering to recruit and train workers, in addition to providing tax incentives.