While the Lakes of Northwest Iowa area is largely rural and its economy no doubt relies heavily on agriculture, manufacturing employs more people than any other industry.

Many of our communities feature multiple major employers in manufacturing – and many of them are always eager to find people to fill jobs. In fact, that’s been a struggle for them recently due to low levels of unemployment. There are plenty of manufacturers who are ready to grow their businesses, but they need people – maybe that’s you – to fill crucial positions.

And that leads us to Get A Lakes Life’s mission: to equip our Community Champions with the info they need to help friends, family and others they know move to our region and help our employers (and communities) grow.

So, whether you were sent to this site by one of our Champions, or you found it on your own – welcome! We’re glad you’re hear. Hopefully you will find these tips for landing a job in manufacturing at one of our region’s employers helpful.

Manufacturers face a workforce shortage

If you work in manufacturing already, or have had past experience recently, then you likely have heard that manufacturers face a shortage of workers to hire. In industry circles, this is called the skills gap. In fact, according to some recent reports, as many as 522,000 manufacturing jobs across the country are still open throughout the industry sector.

Now, there are several reasons why the industry reached this point where it faces a lack of potential employees. One of the most significant is the skills gap. Not enough workers are trained in necessary skills to replace retiring workers or to keep up with advances in technology.

Other reasons for a worker shortage include the move to automation, which requires new skills; younger generations not preferring manufacturing careers and a general image problem for the industry itself.

However, many Americans still care about manufacturing – that’s definitely true in the Lakes Area of Northwest Iowa – and its image is starting to improve.

How you can fill that manufacturing skills gap

Luckily for you, many manufacturers in our rural region are still ready and able to hire qualified candidates. It’s just finding them that seems to be the trouble.

If you are already qualified to fill manufacturing jobs, then you should head over to one of the following job boards or company directories to see what careers in our region might interest you:

Manufacturers want to see these skills

Most manufacturers in the Lakes of Northwest Iowa area will tell you that they are willing to train the right employee if that employee is willing to show up reliably and work hard.

However, some manufacturing jobs require a little education or experience up front. That can include specific welding methods, knowledge of standard industry equipment or working for a similar company. But there are new in-demand skills that are very appealing to today’s manufacturers, such as:

  • Good understanding of technology
  • Computer skills
  • Programming skills for robotics and automation
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to adapt to emerging technology

Can we help?

Need help identifying employment opportunities in manufacturing or another industry? Get in touch with our team by sending us an email and we will do our best to send you in the right direction! Even better – include your resume and references in the email so we can send that along to manufacturing companies in our area!

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