In recent months, political leaders, business leaders and the media have generated renewed interest and focus on manufacturing in America. What many young people, and their parents, might not know is that our country is on an innovation upswing and there are great opportunities for highly-skilled new jobs in modern manufacturing. It’s predicted that modern manufacturing will need to fill more than 3.5 million innovative, highly skilled jobs over the next decade.
These aren’t the assembly line jobs that many think of; new jobs in modern manufacturing extend beyond shop floors and laboratories into offices and state-of-the-art tech centers and even unconventional workshare spaces. Everything that is made in America needs smart thinkers and doers to invent, market, distribute and maintain revolutionary products.
At Pfizer, our Global Supply team includes skilled tradespeople, production colleagues, line operators, process engineers, quality control professionals, engineers, chemists and countless others – all committed to manufacturing high-quality medicines and making them available to patients whenever and wherever they are needed, around the world.
Although job opportunities are increasing, an estimated 2 million jobs are expected to go unfilled due to a lack of properly trained manufacturing professionals.1 Our nation can begin to close the manufacturing skills gap by investing in bioscience and engineering education, as well as technical and trade skill training, to ensure that there is a diverse, prepared workforce to support our manufacturing needs, especially in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
There are many ways for young people to jump start a career in modern manufacturing, from an apprenticeship program, to a two-year college or technical training school, a graduate trainee role or on-the-job training.
At the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, we work closely with local community organizations, grade schools and high schools, four-year universities, community colleges and trade schools, to help educate students of all ages about dynamic careers in science and manufacturing and the skilled trade training and development programs we offer. Through partnerships with organizations like Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Pfizer colleagues engage young students in hands-on activities to explore science, technology, engineering, math, and skilled trades-related careers. By making science fun at an early age, we can inspire tomorrow’s skilled workforce and strengthen the overall community.
Recently, we were proud to capture our Kalamazoo colleagues’ real-life stories in a video series on Creators Wanted, presented by the National Association of Manufacturers and supported by Pfizer. The videos highlight the work and experience of bright young minds in manufacturing, including:
- Travis, a Machine Repairman on the Maintenance Team, who talks about the pride he feels when he fixes something.
- Blanca, a senior process engineer, who says that she works to get the same high-quality product, every time, when making life-saving medicines.
- Chris, a Biologics Operations Team Leader, who talks about coming to work every day knowing he will get to help someone.
- And Amber, a project manager in Drug Product Operations, who says that when she came to Pfizer, she was challenged to “make waves.”
We encourage young innovators everywhere to explore the exciting opportunities in modern manufacturing in America.