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Companies Try to Crack Child-Care Code

More companies are offering their own child-care solutions in an effort to attract and retain employees, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: “Many business leaders and policymakers say child care is key to luring younger workers, especially women, into manufacturing and other industries facing a lack of skilled hourly labor,” but many of those who would fill such positions face “insufficient child care” options, the Journal reports.

  • Lack of access to such care is among the top reasons women have remained out of the labor force following the global pandemic, according to a study by the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate, the Manufacturing Institute, and insurer Colonial Life.

No single solution: Onsite child care isn’t the only option for employers looking to provide for their team members’ children.

  • Money is often more effectively “spent on subsidizing families in need of care, which in turn supports local child-care providers,” one former human resources manager told the publication.
  • ​​​​​​​And “[e]xecutives at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing went another route at the joint venture’s new Greenbrier, Ala. plant after analyzing the costs. It opted to offer workers $3,000 in annual child-care subsidies through Tootris, a company with a network of 200,000 state-licensed providers.”

Retention tool: Since MTM began offering the subsidies, attrition has dropped 11% for male workers and 20% for female workers.

What we’re doing: As part of its 35×30 campaign, an initiative to increase the percentage of women in the industry to 35% by 2030, the MI is gathering case studies to furnish the sector with labor-force-building solutions.

  • “We know that offering child-care solutions—whether onsite or in the form of subsidies—can attract and retain talent,” said MI President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “The MI continues to work with manufacturers to compile case studies and other resources to help companies figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

Read more: Many companies have already undertaken tailored fixes to their employees’ child-care challenges. Read our past stories on Toyota, Vermeer, Pella Corp. and Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Company

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