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Use of New Technologies & Workforce Needs Among NYC Manufacturers

advanced technology workforce NYC manufacturers

ITAC recently partnered with Empire State Development to survey small- and medium-sized New York City manufacturers about their hiring expectations and workforce challenges, as they consider and adopt new technologies for Industrial Transformation.  The survey focus was to understand the utilization of new technologies and to define workforce needs.  Our goal, to reduce barriers to skilled employment by informing training programs around Industrial Transformation.


  • More than 8,000 small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies in New York City employ over sixty thousand people and occupy nearly 40 million square feet of real estate. Together, they generate $7.75 billion dollars in revenue.
  • Printing, Apparel, Fabricated Metal, Food, Jewelry, and Electronics provide more than 50% of all manufacturing jobs in New York City. Most of those jobs are in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
  • About 85% of companies employ less than 10 people; the median size is 3. Similarly, about 85% of manufacturing companies generate less than $1 million dollars in revenue each year; the median is $193,000 per year. 70% of companies have been in business 20 years or less.
  • 70% of companies occupy 4,000 square feet or less; the median is 3,200 square feet. An uncertain real estate market is the biggest barrier to adopting hardware and machine tools. Without knowing the future of where the business will be located, business owners are unwilling to make a large investment which may either be too costly to move, or not be functional in a new space.
  • 40% of respondents reported having at least one Industrial Transformation initiative in progress or completed. 75% of the respondents that completed an initiative reported them to be either extremely or very effective.
  • Most of the Industrial Transformation has been in automation tooling like CNC, or software tools like Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing that have both a lower barrier of entry and higher impact on the bottom line.
  • Nearly two thirds of respondents saw their workforce as important in achieving successful Industrial Transformation, yet less than half are satisfied with the skills needed to drive Industrial Transformation, which they perceive as lacking among their current employees.
  • Available vocational and technical programs are extremely limited; as a result, employers seek the most experienced employees possible, and do internal training or job shadow programs to fill the knowledge gaps.
  • Less than 50% of respondents reported working with state or local organizations, community colleges or private universities to recruit or train staff.

Click here to read our full report.