What do you really know about manufacturing? | KCTCS

What do you really know about manufacturing?

by KCTCS President Paul Czarapata - October 14, 2021

It’s Manufacturing Month so I thought it might be a good time to provide some facts and refute some myths about manufacturing.

Myth: All manufacturing jobs are dirty.

Truth: This is not the case at all for many manufacturing jobs in 2021. Facilities are brightly lit, clean and technology driven. 

Myth: Most people in manufacturing work are not well educated.

Truth: It’s nearly impossible to find an advanced manufacturing job without some training after high school. Today’s facilities feature robotics and other advanced technology that require employees to earn at least an industry certification. 

Myth: All the good manufacturing jobs are gone.

Truth: In the U.S., manufacturers will need to hire 4 million workers between now and 2030, according to a new study. Although some of these positions are to replace retirees, most will be needed because of expansion.

In the past five years in Kentucky, manufacturers announced 1,100 new or expanded locations. This amounted to an additional 39,000 jobs, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Myth: Manufacturing jobs don’t pay well.

Truth: According to Zip Recruiter, the average advanced manufacturing salary in Kentucky is $33 hour.

A few other facts about manufacturing from the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers:

  • More than 250,000 Kentuckians work in manufacturing.
  • There are 4,500 manufacturers in Kentucky.
  • Kentucky is third in U.S. auto production.

KCTCS is proud to have partnerships with manufacturers all across the state. Our colleges align their programs with local business partners to make sure our students are learning relevant skills with the most advanced equipment. For students, the icing on the cake is that most of our manufacturing related programs are covered by the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship. This provides free tuition for up to 60 hours, so students can earn certificates or an associate degree and pay no tuition!

We also have apprenticeships and other earn and learn opportunities with local businesses. If you think you’d like to join the thousands of Kentuckians enjoying a great career in manufacturing, check our website for information on all the programs we offer.

Last, I can’t write about Manufacturing Month without mentioning the historic investment Ford and SK Innovation are making in Hardin County and the funds our legislators have made available for training. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College will have the honor of educating students at the new $25 million training facility that will be built for the new battery plant. This shows the important role our colleges play not only in workforce development, but also in economic development.

Hat’s off to Ford and all of our manufacturing partners as they celebrate national Manufacturing Month! We’re #KCTCSProud to work with you!