Workers assemble washing machines at the Samsung plant in Newberry, S.C., in March 2018.
Sean Rayford | AP
NEWBERRY, S.C. — While concerns about a potential manufacturing slowdown swirl in the face of an ongoing trade war, the sector is facing a bigger and more immediate problem — a growing skills gap that is leaving hundreds of thousands of positions open.
The National Association of Manufacturers said a record 552,000 jobs remained open in the sector in September. The group signed the “Pledge to America’s Workers” this summer in conjunction with the Trump administration, committing to training 1.86 million workers in the next five years to address the shortage of skilled workers.
Those workers will be needed in droves. A report published last year by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 4.6 million jobs will need to be filled in the sector over the next decade, and 2.4 million jobs may be left open due to a lack of trained workers. The shortage of workers has been…