If there’s one headline that catches the attention of most U.S. consumers today, it’s jobs. In the manufacturing sector, many companies are unable to find qualified employees. An Accenture report, Out of Inventory: Skills Shortage Threatens Growth for U.S. Manufacturing, highlights the challenges employers are facing in the sector, both currently and in the years to come.

Manufacturers are facing downtime when they cannot find enough qualified employees. They are also seeing an impact on the bottom line when they are forced to train new employees. About 55% of manufacturers now invest up to $1,000 on each new hire. And, 42% of manufacturers are spending nearly that much every year to train existing employees. The need is coming from the use of advanced technology which is necessary to “configure, control and monitor processes,” said Blake Moret, senior vice president of the Control Products and Solutions business at Rockwell Automation, and chairman of The Manufacturing Institute’s Board of Trustees.”

Accenture’s analysts are encouraging manufacturers to take a number of steps to mitigate this problem. These steps include using digital technology to make training available in a variety of settings and in an environment that allows employees to work at their own pace. In addition, manufacturers should be working with local community colleges, trade school and high schools to help them design curricula that will provide proper training that leads to jobs.

As community colleges begin to promote these manufacturer-paired training programs, they’ll be targeting consumers who are prepared to pay tuition. According to Ad-ology Research,  in any given year, about 9.8% of U.S. consumers are planning to pay for tuition for themselves or a family member. About 11.6% of these consumers also expect to pay for daycare or childcare services, or lessons and instruction for a hobby or sport in the next year, a rate that is nearly 100% higher than average. To reach these consumers who are clearly interested in improving themselves, community colleges should promote their programs on social media. At least 60% of these audience members have taken action as a result of a social media ad they’ve seen in the past year. Smartphone apps or text messages could also be effective as at least 50% of these consumers notice and take action after seeing ads in these formats.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.