Manufacturing is the backbone of Manitoba’s economy and will drive Manitoba’s economic recovery. However, manufacturing leaders consistently rank skills and labour shortages as the most pressing challenge they face. Specifically, executives noted deep concern both about the availability of workers as well as the skill level of existing and future employees at all levels within their organizations. These gaps are undermining the current performance and potential future growth of their companies. Today, Manitoba’s manufacturers employ more than 60,000 people. Common occupations include general labourers, skilled tradespeople, engineers, sales and service representatives, and managers. The skillsets of each of these occupations is constantly being redefined as technology, competition, and opportunity reshape the business of manufacturing. Technology is changing both the type of workers being used – a shift from general labour to specialized work – and the type of skills that are needed – from single-skilled and repetitive to multi-skilled and flexible. In other words, jobs are becoming more multi-skilled and specialized, and they are growing more valuable and less interchangeable. As a result, workers are becoming more difficult to find and harder to replace.