Manufacturers are increasingly covering moving costs and other perks to entice skilled personnel such as welders, machine programmers and engineers to join their workforce.

With the unemployment rate at a 50-year low and a half a million U.S. factory jobs vacant, employers are getting creative, reports The Wall Street Journal.

For example,

At Caterpillar Inc.’s engine plant in Lafayette, Ind., the company said electricians and machine maintenance staff are eligible for $5,000 in moving expenses if they lived at least 75 miles from the plant before being hired….

Raytheon Co. is offering up to $5,000 in moving benefits for a $17-an-hour position as a machine operator at a factory in Arizona.

Not only large companies are taking this step. Columbus Hydraulics Co., which is 90 miles from Omaha in Columbus, Neb., is making cash payments to new hires to draw them to its factory there. In Scranton, Iowa, New Way Trucks is offering $1000 to workers to relocate, as it adds dozens of positions to shrink its backlog and reduce turn-around times.

Other employers are offering signing bonuses and raising wages to attract new skilled workers. Wage growth at U.S. manufacturers was the highest since 2016 in December, increasing 3 percent that month from a year earlier, the Journal reports.

Some employers are getting creative in other, smaller ways:

Joh Zink, a Koch Industries Inc. manufacturing company in Tulsa, Okla., gives out free steel-toed boots; a Globus Medical Inc. plant in Audubon, Pa., provides workers with YMCA memberships; [and] Whirlpool Corp is paying workers at a factor in Findlay, Ohio, a $250 six-month retention bonus.


  More Updates

May 6, 2020

Dunwoody 3D Printing Instructor Supports Medical Heroes by Designing Ear Savers

Our health care heroes continue to work tirelessly on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. To help keep them safe ...

Keep Reading

Apr 15, 2020

Part 2: Recognizing MN manufacturers who are supporting our health care heroes

I previously wrote about several Minnesota manufacturers producing medical products to help protect our health care hero...

Keep Reading

Apr 9, 2020

A Blue-Ribbon, Blue-Collar Life

As reported in a February obituary, it took an old high school friend a few years to learn he liked working with his han...

Keep Reading