Nick Novak Highlights Different Ways Manufacturers are Attracting Younger Workers

MILWAUKEE – It’s a puzzle that is yet to be completely solved. With thousands of manufacturing positions open across the state, companies are left to figure out how to attract the next generation of workers. And an ongoing worker shortage has only exacerbated the issue.

Nick Novak, vice president of communications and marketing at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), said the organization estimates there are around 45,000 manufacturing jobs available in the state.

WMC’s first line of defense when combatting the ongoing worker shortage is educating students about their options.

“There really is a lack of awareness of the jobs that are available in manufacturing,” Novak said. “The first step is just getting the kids in the room with the manufacturers and letting them see for themselves. That’s a home run right away.”

WMC hosted its “Manufacturing Inspirations” event for the first time in April at Muskego High School. Over 1,500 students passed through the school’s gym and parking lot to learn about the 30 Wisconsin manufacturers that participated.

Improving social media strategies is another tactic WMC has seen manufacturers use.

“You need to go out and actually recruit them where they already are,” Novak said. “In many cases, that means finding them on Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, … trying to build these brands that are recognizable and getting in touch with these people at a very young age.”

Manufacturers should also consider what they want their company culture to be. This is critical to not only attracting, but also retaining young workers. Novak said making sure workers feel welcome and building a greater sense of community are important aspects of building a positive company culture.

Continue reading at