This is largely not true. Most manufacturers incorporate a highly sophisticated manufacturing process that leverages the advancements in technology and automation over the last generation. Thus most manufactures operate in a very clean and safe work environment.
This is not true. In Vermont, manufacturing is the highest paying section of the state’s economy. Moreover, within manufacturing there are many different job opportunities ranging from research and development, engineering, quality, technicians and sales and marketing. In manufacturing, the correlation between education and income is alive and well. For those folks with an engineering degree, the earnings potential is very attractive. Moreover, a 2 year manufacturing degree from an organization such as Hudson Valley Community College will provide a pathway to have a meaningful career in advanced manufacturing.
In addition, most manufacturers embrace the concept of the more value you add to the company, the more valuable you are to the company. Therefore it is in the company’s best interest to pay their employees a competitive wage otherwise their employees will leave for greener pastures.
While it is true that there tends to be job attrition during recessions, the magnitude to the job losses is very exaggerated. Manufacturing companies do value their employees and will do everything they can to retain jobs during economic slow downs. This is because most manufacturing companies invest considerable time and money in training their employees to be as productive as possible. Therefore, most companies will be very creative in retaining their employees as the cost of re-hiring and re-training a new workforce will be more costly and time consuming as opposed to retaining employees when things slow down.
Finally, most manufacturing job losses come from plant closures and not from recession related layoffs so if you are gainfully employed by a dynamic manufacturer your job security is pretty solid.
The amount of modern technology incorporated in advanced manufacturing is truly impressive. This trend has removed the lift and grunt aspect of manufacturing that your grandfather did. The skills in demand for modern manufacturing includes: blue print reading, coding, programming, inspection and mechanical aptitude. These skills will allow an employee to excel in a manufacturing environment which incorporates computers and robots in their manufacturing process.
The cool thing about modern manufacturing is that approximately 25% of manufacturing jobs are non-production related. For every manufacturing company, the are non-production jobs that support the company. For example, most manufacturers have accountant, research and development, office administrator, sales and marketing, human resources, government and public relations, engineering and quality positions to support the overall operation.