The study reported in this paper is focused on training needs for manufacturing assembly line workers. Specifically, the objective is to investigate desired worker characteristics, upskilling opportunities, and need for a training platform targeted at assembly line workers in South Carolina. The study is performed in three parts: 1) a survey of South Carolina manufacturing professionals, 2) an analysis of manufacturing job ads, and 3) an analysis of publicly available data from O*NET®.

The survey consisted of 27 questions and primarily focused on learning objectives within the cognitive and psychomotor domains of Bloom’s taxonomy. The survey tool was also designed to determine industry perceptions of virtual training for manual assembly operations and perceptions of its potential benefits and limitations. Specific survey questions address the desired complexity of training objectives within the cognitive and psychomotor domains. The results from this survey will later be used provide a framework for customized, targeted training modules for assembly workers.

Job postings for assembly line workers were analyzed using Natural Language Processing techniques. Specifically, postings were analyzed to relate action verbs to the distinct domains of Bloom’s taxonomy of learning objectives. In addition, a frequency analysis of the verbs provided insight into skills that are in demand.

Preliminary survey results were compared to results from the job ads analysis and trends from O*NET® for alignment or discrepancies between announced characteristics and desired skills. This comparison provides insights into training requirements and upskilling opportunities for the manufacturing workforce. Further possibilities include targeted semi-structured interviews to explore knowledge gaps, pursue insights, and refine results.

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