Supply Demand Annual Update – Tennessee

Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) is a public-private partnership that develops and deploys advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies and implements education and training programs to prepare the workforce. An educated and skilled workforce is critical to the future of manufacturing. Under the direction of Emily Stover DeRocco, LIFT’s Education & Workforce Director, LIFT’s State Teams, engaging manufacturers, educators, workforce and economic developers, and state and local officials, are designing and implementing a cohesive strategy to deliver the talent necessary to the long-term health of the U.S. defense and commercial industrial bases.

Lightweight materials are increasingly important to the competitiveness of transportation manufacturing sectors, including suppliers in the automotive, aircraft, heavy truck, ship, rail, and defense manufacturing industries. Lighter vehicles for the military, industry, and consumer alike, are more fuel- efficient and demonstrate better performance.

From welding to skilled metalwork, to logistics and mechanical and chemical engineering, to industrial design and manufacturing management, lightweighting-related jobs are found in nearly every manufacturing sector. This report provides an overview and examines the changing demand for workers in jobs related to lightweighting in Michigan. This analysis is meant to further enhance the future development of lightweighting workforce education and training in the region.

Of particular note, throughout this analysis and report, we rely not only on national databases related to traditional occupations and job families. The pace of change in the manufacturing industry, largely resulting from technology infusion and forces of globalization, is reflected in rapid-fire change in the knowledge, skills, and abilities the manufacturing workforce requires. To provide the best available analyses, this report integrates intelligence gathered from the real-time, transactional labor market reflecting the realities of demand and supply, the changing nature of manufacturing employment, and the competencies that are needed in the 21st century manufacturing workforce.