The United States manufacturing sector has lost a lot of momentum, but one industry advocate claims there’s a lot of untapped potential for growth.
Titan Gilroy, the founder and CEO of manufacturing company Titans of CNC, told Yahoo Finance’s On The Move that picking up manufacturing skills during his time in prison changed his whole life.
“The first time I got on a computer was in prison,” Gilroy stated. “When I got out, I had no hope. I had no opportunities. I stepped into manufacturing. And based on ability and determination, you know, I rose in it and I caught a life. All of a sudden, now I'm making aerospace parts. And we're doing curriculum and teaching our kids. It's just blowing up. My whole life is just great now.”
Gilroy’s Titans of CNC makes aerospace parts for companies like Boeing and SpaceX and trains about 50,000 online students. Gilroy believes automation is making it easier for people to develop the type of skills needed to enter the field.
“We're going to teach our kids high level stuff, because right now everybody is being trained in a prehistoric way,” Gilroy said. “You can actually make six figures... you can make that type of money without a college education in manufacturing.”
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.4 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap, over the next decade. And according to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, “the lack of qualified talent could take a significant bite out of economic growth, potentially costing as much as $454 billion from manufacturing GDP in 2028. Between now and 2028, a persistent skills shortage could cost $2.5 trillion in reduced output.”
Gilroy said this skills gap can be filled by bringing awareness to the industry.
“Technology is actually there to allow everyone who needs a good paying job to actually get into manufacturing,” Gilroy stated. “You can actually train these individuals 90% faster because the computers do the work. Because of automation, we can actually bring a lot of jobs back to the U.S. that otherwise couldn't be done here right. So now we have opportunities to actually train up everyone in high schools, train up our military veterans, train up our incarcerated, people with autism, everyone has an opportunity in manufacturing.”
Chelsea Lombardo is a production assistant for Yahoo Finance. You can find more of her work here.