Honda today reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to advance the skills of its current and future workforce by signing the White House’s Pledge to America’s Workers at its Technical Development Center located at the Honda Heritage Center in Marysville, Ohio.
As part of its pledge, Honda committed to offering expanded job training opportunities for 50,000 workers in the next five years.
With the signing of the pledge, Honda reinforced its commitment to expand training programs in order to ensure that the company’s associates who design, produce, sell and service Honda products have the necessary education and training to succeed in a world of rapidly changing technology. Additionally, Honda will continue to support and advocate for programs that educate future workers about manufacturing as a potential career.
The rapid pace of advances in so-called CASE vehicle technologies (Connected, Automated, Shared, Electrified) is a key driver in the need for a renewed focus on math and science education in schools and in the training of the existing workforce on advanced automotive and mobility technologies. Honda is proactive in ensuring that its associates receive necessary job training. It operates technical training centers near its manufacturing operations in Ohio, Indiana and Alabama that provide Honda associates the opportunity to stay current with the skills needed for their work requirements.
An additional challenge is attracting the next generation of skilled manufacturing workforce. In a 2018 study, Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute identified an estimated 2.4 million open manufacturing jobs that would remain unfilled, due largely to a skills shortage in the U.S. manufacturing industry. According to the study, this shortage is based on misperceptions of manufacturing jobs held by young people and the retirement of baby boomers. This shortfall represents more than half of the 4.6 million manufacturing jobs that will need to be filled between 2018 and 2028.
To build enthusiasm for the jobs of the future, Honda will be among the title mobility sponsors for Creators Wanted, an initiative developed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to spur manufacturing employment, expose prospective employees and youth to the many aspects of the manufacturing industry and address misperceptions about careers in the manufacturing industry. More details about the Creators Wanted initiative will be announced in February.
Honda has a history of initiating workforce development activities and increasing interest in manufacturing careers by promoting STEM education and working with local schools, community colleges and four-year universities. Each year, Honda hosts more than 200 university students in engineering and manufacturing support functions. In central Ohio alone – home to several Honda manufacturing and R&D operations – Honda has fostered relationships with local colleges and universities, where Honda offers scholarships and job-training opportunities to students enrolled in engineering and technology programs. This includes Honda’s support of over 20 individual Ohio State University Senior Capstone project teams each year.
One example of the creative approach Honda has taken is a collaboration with Edheads, a Hilliard, Ohio educational game developer, to create a first-of-its kind manufacturing video game. Designed to increase manufacturing career awareness among U.S. middle school students, the initiative has reached over 550,000 game plays since its launch in 2015.
About Honda Manufacturing in America
Honda marked its 40th anniversary of manufacturing products in America in Sept. 2019. Honda was the first Japanese automaker to produce products in America, beginning with motorcycles in 1979, followed by the start of automobile production in Marysville, Ohio, on Nov. 1, 1982.
Over the course of four decades, Honda has steadily grown its manufacturing capabilities in the region. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at 12 plants in America with the capacity to produce more than one million automobiles, three million engines, 400,000 power equipment products and 330,000 powersports products each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In 2019, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were made in America.
Honda also manufactures the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines in America. Cumulatively, Honda has invested more than $21 billion in its American manufacturing capabilities. The company also works with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America with cumulative parts purchases of nearly $400 billion over 36 years.