Sharing findings from a survey of 300 automotive industry manufacturers, Jeannine Kunz, VP of Tooling U-SME, says the introduction of new technology is seen as the main contributor to the skills gap in manufacturing. “Essentially, technology is outpacing our people.” Yes, the pipeline is still an issue. Yes, baby boomers leaving the market is still an issue. But the swift current of new technology is negatively impacting productivity, innovation, quality and safety. Tooling U-SME works to help companies tackle all of the problems. “All too often, we see manufacturers not necessarily tying human capital strategy to their manufacturing strategy or their business strategy.” Human capital can be a competitive advantage. “All of us can buy the same equipment. And all of us can buy the same technologies. What we really can’t duplicate are the human beings. Each of us is very different. So it’s the ‘secret weapon’ of the people behind the operation that truly can create a competitive advantage,” Kunz says.