Manufacturing Rebrands-As Silicon Valley

GE uses virtual reality tours, like this one of a GE locomotive to try to recruit tech focused millenials. PHOTO: GENERAL ELECTRIC

American manufacturers are trying out a new plan to recruit new workers and relieve their much discussed labor shortage. In an effort to appeal to millennials thousands of companies, including industry giants like GE, are trying to rebrand manufacturing as a high-tech industry full of opportunity, the Wall Street Journal Reports. A second Silicon Valley as it were.

Manufacturers are recruiting both to attract skilled labor to a growing number of positions and to replenish a workforce from which baby boomers are retiring at a rapid pace. Some studies predict that by 2025 there will be two million unfilled manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing has always been tech-heavy but recent outreach efforts aim to showcase that side of the industry to a far greater extent by using everything from quick online videos to virtual reality tours.