According to Forbes, the Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration or iGens, has an estimated attention span of 8 seconds. That means that by the time you have finished reading this sentence, they have moved onto the next thing. The iGens have been brought up in a world with a massive amount of information, and they can quickly and impressively filter through all of it. This gives them the ability to quickly shift from one topic to the next, leaving a very small window of time to appeal them.
The iGeneration includes anyone born after 1995 and according to CMO by Adobe, they are a “quarter of America’s population” and still growing. This group of people has been called the iGens because they are the first to have the internet readily available to them at such a young age. This is the next group of people many employers and educators will have to reach. They are now at the age where they are selecting career paths, going on interviews, and starting their professions. Pretty soon, it will be one of the first times where three generations and potentially four generations, will be working alongside one another; Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and iGens. This opens many opportunities for the workforce, particularly the manufacturing industry.
So how can manufacturing appeal to the iGens? Fortunately, it looks like they already have an interest. Deep Focus wrote that iGens are “interested in building key skills at a young age… 89% say they spend part of their free time in activities they consider productive and creative”. This exemplifies the foundation of manufacturing. Being creative, productive and making things is where it begins.
Manufacturing gives the iGens an opportunity to be productive and creative and harvest their passions into a career. Once the iGens are aware of what is available to them, the possibilities are endless. Having a balance between promoting manufacturing in a way that appeals to the iGens, and staying true to the core fundamentals of manufacturing is key. It will lead the path to bridging the skills gap in the manufacturing industry.