SHRM and DOL Gather Manufacturers to Talk about Shortage of Skilled Workers

Jun 12, 2012

SHRM’s annual conference in Atlanta opens with June 24 workshop exploring practices and resources to meet hiring challenges

Alexandria, Va., June 12, 2012 — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) will bring together manufacturers and officials from the U.S. Department of Labor to talk about an issue facing American employers — the skills gap — and potential solutions.

Keeping America Competitive: Addressing the Skills Gap in Manufacturing,” a half-day summit June 24 in Atlanta, will feature human resources leaders including SHRM President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson and Assistant Secretaries of Labor Kathleen Martinez of the Office of Disability Employment Policy and Jane Oates of the Employment and Training Administration.

SHRM first identified the skills gap last year when more than one-half of organizations reported having difficulty finding skilled workers for specific job openings. A SHRM poll found that the manufacturing industry was having a particularly tough time finding skilled workers, especially high-skilled technical positions, engineers and skilled trades.

“The skills gap can work to slow overall job growth because manufacturers that cannot fill high- and medium-skill jobs have difficulty growing their businesses, which means no job growth of low-skilled jobs either,” said Mark Schmit, SHRM’s vice president for research. “Consequently, it is imperative to find solutions to the skill gap issues facing manufacturing in the U.S.”

The summit includes a look at the issues with Schmit; Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the American Council on International Personnel; and James Schultz of Chevron in San Ramon, Calif., and chair-elect of the SHRM Foundation Board of Directors, as well as a session on tools and resources with the Department of Labor.

A session on effective practices and community solutions with Brent Weil, senior vice president of the Manufacturing Institute; Steve Adams, deputy director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions in Boston; and representatives from manufacturers Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing of Erlanger, Ky., Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles, and Union Packaging LLC of Yeadon, Pa., will be followed by an interactive discussion with attendees about the challenges facing employers.

The summit, which kicks off SHRM’s 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition, will be from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sunday, June 24, in rooms B401-B402 of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is free to SHRM annual conference attendees, but registration is required.

For more information, visit

Media: Summit speakers will be available for questions immediately after the event. For press credentials, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Affairs at 703-535-6260 and Kate.kennedy@shrm.orgor Jennifer Hughes at 703-535- 6072 and

Twitter hashtags: #SHRM12 and #skillsgap.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing about 260,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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