Wednesday, April 23, 2014 · 3:33 p.m.

State leaders launch effort to encourage careers in manufacturing

Public education session scheduled for Friday

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Leaders with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced a new program to encourage people to start careers in the manufacturing sector, as experts estimate there will be a nationwide shortage of qualified employees by 2020. 

If you go 

What: Statewide meeting on manufacturing careers and attracting talent 

When: Friday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Business Development Center, 100 Cherokee Blvd.

How much: Free 

For more information about the campaign: Click here

For more information about the National Association of Manufacturers: Click here   

Officials will host an all-day meeting that is open to the public in Chattanooga Friday to educate attendees about how to recruit students to the industry. 

The new program is called Dream It, Do It.

"We are pleased to announce a deep grassroots strategy to encourage our youth to look at careers in our manufacturing sector," Catherine Glover, president of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a prepared statement. "Whether you are a college, technical college or high school graduate, manufacturing offers high wages, good benefits and stable employment."

At Friday's meeting, which will be at the Business Development Center at 100 Cherokee Blvd., leaders will focus on how to attract young adults into manufacturing careers and how to expand education and training to meet the shortage of skilled workers. 

The Manufacturing Institute developed the Dream It, Do It Program and launched it in 2005.

The campaign aims at helping young people identify what they are passionate about and helps them find careers in manufacturing. State leaders said the average compensation in the industry is $63,000 annually.

Through the campaign, leaders also aim to broaden awareness about today’s manufacturing careers.

State leaders are partnering with the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service, Center for Industrial Services and ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions to launch the statewide initiative. 

Officials estimate that there will be a shortage of 13 million qualified employees by 2020. 

 "While the departure of low-level manufacturing jobs to China and India receives much attention, Tennessee manufacturers need employees with technical skills to create cutting-edge products that beat the global competition," Jerry Jasinowski, former president of The Manufacturing Institute, said in a prepared statement. "The erosion of technical training programs and a lack of student interest in math, science and technical careers have left America with a critical shortage of skilled workers."

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