Leaders in Workforce Development

Helping employers, jobseekers and newcomers connect to our skilled, dedicated workforce.



The Top Trends in Manufacturing for 2019


A lot has gone on in the manufacturing world this year. There’s a lot to know and a lot to talk about, so we’ve decided to list some of the top trends in manufacturing we’ve written about this year. And these trends aren’t just topical for 2019; many of these trends will continue to be relevant onward. 

1. Top Trends in Manufacturing: Robotics, Automation, and AI

One of the manufacturing top trends for 2019 - and a chief concern for people nervous about joining the industry - is the advance of AI, robotics, and automation into manufacturing. The tech evolution is not a situation unique to the manufacturing industry; studies widely report that jobs from all spheres of work will be affected in some way by AI. But the manufacturing industry is an early adopter of robotics and automation in factories, and many look to it as the canary in the coal mine. 

Luckily, even though jobs will be changed by more and more AI integration, and entire jobs will be lost, many new opportunities will be created in their place: some we can’t even imagine yet. 

No matter what you think about AI and its integration into the workforce, it is undeniable that AI and automation were big topics for manufacturing in 2019 and will continue to be discussed into the future. 

2. Attracting the Next Generation of Manufacturers

The manufacturing industry has had to recover from a bit of a smear campaign. Due to a whole host of misconceptions about the industry, young people have been told to avoid jobs in manufacturing. 

The industry is working to spread the word about its high wages, vast job opportunities, modern inclusive and workplaces for marginalized folks and women in manufacturing, and exciting work, but there are still plenty of minds to change and plenty of room for further education. Talent shortages and labour retention are big trends as they consistently rank among the top concerns of manufacturing employers. 

Here are three strategies you can use to help bring young people to the industry:

  • tabletSocial media outreach and marketing. Even though different social media platforms differ in popularity among different age groups, one thing is sure: if you have no social media presence at all, you will be disregarded by job seekers, especially youth. They want to work for an employer who speaks their language and takes them seriously. Regarding social media as a passing fad or worse will likely not reflect well upon a company.
  • Inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a useful way of getting your message out to young people, as inbound marketing targets specific user “personas” to get your content to exactly the people you want to reach.
  • Making connections to manufacturing in pop culture. Some young people believe that the manufacturing world is full of backbreaking and boring repetitive labour. Introducing youth to manufacturing pop media that shows off the passion in this industry can really reach them in a way that other methods can’t. From a manufacturing video game, to STEM books for kids, the fun of Manufacturing Month, to the incredible impact of technology on manufacturing, and the important practice of sustainable manufacturing, there are so many ways to showcase this industry.

3. Celebrating Manufacturing Month and Manufacturing Day

October of every year is Manufacturing Month. October is when the industry gets more than its usual share of attention from among the other sectors and the general public. That means that Manufacturing Month is a perfect time to educate the public on the other manufacturing trends on this list. It’s the perfect time to attract new talent, run tours to show off your facilities, and dispel myths about the industry, while attracting attention from would-be employees or investors.

For a condensed version of Manufacturing Month, you can also celebrate Manufacturing Day, which is officially on October 4th. But if you want, Manufacturing Day can be any day you want to devote to public relations and marketing the industry, and to show off your success stories and the quality of life you can offer employees.  

Learn More About Future Manufacturing Issues and How to Solve Them

New call-to-action

External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.


Workforce Tools

New call-to-action

Subscribe to MW Blog

Recent Blogs: