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Brooke Weddle: Manufacturing Needs A Rebrand

Brooke Weddle: Manufacturing Needs A Rebrand
Brooke Weddle, senior partner at Mckinsey, sat down with Manufacturing Digital to discuss methods to address manufacturing's global hiring crisis

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Brooke Weddle, a senior partner at McKinsey, has highlighted the need for a rebrand in the manufacturing industry. Over the past sixteen years, globalisation, digital transformation, and climate change have significantly impacted the workforce, including the manufacturing sector. McKinsey has conducted extensive research on organisational health and has identified a major hiring crisis in the US manufacturing industry. The demand for skills has increased due to factors such as the CHIPS Act, infrastructure investments, and the embrace of transformative technologies. To address this, manufacturers need to undergo strategic self-assessment and consider the wider manufacturing ecosystem. Additionally, the industry is facing a "Greater Green Transition" as older workers exit the workforce, exacerbating the skills gap. Manufacturers must broaden their talent pools and redefine what "talent" means in the digital age. Finally, the industry needs a rebrand to appeal to the younger generation, who prioritize flexibility, career progression, and meaningful work. Brooke suggests that a systematic approach and understanding the priorities of the next working generation are essential for attracting new skilled workers. She emphasizes the need to tell a different story about the industry to change mindsets. Overall, the manufacturing industry is undergoing a period of dramatic evolution and has a far better story to tell than the one currently being told.

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