Manufacturing and Technology Conference & Expo: Key Takeaways

The 2018 Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo was held in Raleigh, NC, from May 8-10. The conference offered a breadth of content, presentations, and engaging booths filled with tech gadgets to both learn from and be entertained by.

Conference attendees could choose to take plant tours across the city or listen in to one of several workshops on topics ranging from how to improve factory operations, to the various ways cybersecurity relates to manufacturing.

A popular and relevant topic discussed amongst attendees was the industry-wide current skills gap. This gap has become frustrating for organizations left wondering how the drought can be overcome.

According to manufacturers, the top three negative impacts of the skills gap rank as follows:

1) Ability to meet customer demand

2) Ability to invest in new technologies and increase productivity

3) Ability to provide effective customer service

Broadleaf understands the impact this skills gap has on business, and specifically, within the manufacturing and technology industry. Our success with contingent and direct hire sourcing models in this industry encouraged us to attend and offer suggestions to the 1,800-plus conference registrants.

These three suggestions rank as important methods with which an organization can begin to close the gap.


  • Scaling up training programs
  • Providing opportunities to expose the upcoming workforce to manufacturing careers


  • The act of making tougher jobs simpler


  • Promoting manufacturing as a career path

If you’re experiencing this skills gap, discuss with your Human Resources department or Career Development staff, the importance of advertising the benefits of working within the manufacturing and technology industry. Another smart move is for companies to simplify job descriptions to instill confidence within those eager to begin a career. Both of these small suggestions make the industry appear more attractive and attainable to today’s workforce.