CLAREMONT, Calif. (LMA Consulting Group) — Lisa Anderson, president of LMA consulting Group, in conjunction with the APICS - Inland Empire chapter, conducted a skills gap survey which asked hiring managers and human resources professionals about recruiting and employment trends in manufacturing and distribution.  Results show that 77 percent of manufacturers and distributors are facing challenges finding skilled workers for new positions and to replace those workers who have left. The survey also touched on how manufacturers and distributors recruit, retain and train workers in their companies.

"We initiated the study because in my consulting business as well as serving as the Inland Empire chapter president for APICS, we keep hearing that manufacturers cannot find good people," explains Anderson. "Even though unemployment remains higher than pre-recession levels, manufacturers and distributors cannot find the talent required to support their business. To add fuel to the fire, as supply chains have become more complex in recent years, a higher level of skills and talent is required for success, leaving a skills gap."

Working in conjunction with APICS-Inland Empire, Anderson crafted a questionnaire that not only asked whether manufacturing employers were having difficulty developing, retaining and recruiting key talent, but also tried to delve into the reasons why and where improvements could be realized.

"The study didn't just focus on new hires, but rather the whole workforce," says Anderson. "We have nearly 90 percent of those surveyed feeling that they are experiencing a skills gap.  We're at a perfect storm in terms of talent with the emergence of three key trends: 

  1. Employees are feeling more comfortable with the recovery and are leaving their current positions to pursue better opportunities. 
  2. Skilled baby boomers are feeling more secure and opting to retire. 
  3. Manufacturing and systems technologies have advanced, leaving some traditional workers without the necessary skills to function in the new business normal.

The complete Manufacturing and Distribution Skills Gap report will be available in mid-December. To automatically receive the free report when it is available, register here.

For information about Lisa Anderson, go to or call 909.630.3943.