Advanced manufacturing is a growing sector. In a survey of targeted industries in communities served by the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, employers were queried regarding their projections for new jobs in one year, three and five years from now that would rely on skills and technology training that could be provided by advanced manufacturing alliance coursework and credentialing. Additionally, they were asked to provide their projections for the number of job replacements that may occur in one year, three and five years. The employers provided the following feedback:
According to NC Employment Security Commission job projection data developed in 2006, manufacturing jobs in chemical, computer and electronics, food, metal and transportation equipment products are forecast to make gains annually through 2016. Among those requiring a minimum of an Associate degree, the job gains will be most significant among Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians, while Commercial Electrical, Electrical/Electronic Installers, Avionics Technicians, Computer/Automated Machinery Installers/Repairers, and Electronic Repair Technician jobs requiring a minimum of post secondary vocational training are projected for growth.
Based on the 2012 Manpower Survey, machinist and machine operators are among one of the top 10 skill sets employers have difficulty finding and are in demand throughout the state. Graduates of Computer Integrated Machining Programs such as the one offered by Fayetteville Tech are prepared for filling positions in the workplace that include machinists, machine operator, CNC tool operator, tool and die maker, and lathe and turning machine tool setters.
While some of the NC ESC data may have been predicated on pre-recession assumptions, current national data supports growth trends in advanced manufacturing. According to data from the past two years, employment trends remain upward.