Due to a spike in production activity in the United States, most domestic manufacturers find themselves in the intense battle to hire and retain an adequate workforce. As technological advances continue to influence production processes across all industries, manufacturers are seeing a fundamental shift in their workforce profile. This workforce profile is starting to place more of a focus on engineering positions, over traditional production and assembly positions. Therefore, as manufacturers commence their site selection projects, analyzing the presence and pipeline of engineering talent is important.

Site Selection Group, a global location advisory, economic incentive and corporate real estate services firm, conducts a multitude of workforce analytics for our manufacturing clients. Based on our clients’ business needs, we have identified the following disciplines as critical for most of manufacturing projects: mechanical, electrical & electronics, industrial, aerospace, and materials engineering.

Site Selection Group researched the most recent data from the Department of Education to compare the graduates of this engineering cluster by state. In addition, Site Selection Group also researched if these states with high engineering graduate volumes were consistent with project engineering job growth.

Cluster engineering graduates follow overall population

The interactive map below shows the number of graduates from the identified engineering cluster for the 2016 academic year by state (hover over or select a state for more detail). As can be expected from overall population levels, the top producer of these specific engineering graduates is California with over 11,000. Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida round out the Top 5.


Locations with high engineering job growth and graduating engineering students are not always consistent

Site Selection Group evaluated the engineering cluster job growth by state. The data indicates that the West has the highest projected job growth with approximately 10% over the next five years. Conversely, the Northeast is expected to have a decline in engineering jobs. The interactive map below shows states by five-year projected occupation growth.


Capitalizing on ‘brain drain’ is an attractive opportunity for manufacturers

The data suggests that many graduating engineers in the near future will be forced to relocate, in some instances great distances, for employment. In a hyper-competitive economy, manufacturers can find unique opportunities to attract and retain engineering talent by capitalizing on communities that have traditionally experienced brain drain. As a part of workforce analytics for manufacturing site selection projects, Site Selection Group recommends that companies invest the resources to truly understand engineering graduate migration patterns before making final location decisions.  

For additional information, please contact Site Selection Group.

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