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Gen Z in Manufacturing: Gen Z Passion Toward Manufacturing ‘More Prevalent’ Abroad

A 26-year-old Ph.D. candidate says digital transformation is the key to attracting Gen Z.

Editor's Note: Download the audio version below.

Welcome to another episode of Gen Z in Manufacturing, a podcast where I interview young people about their journeys in the manufacturing industry.

For this episode, I welcome Ankur Verma, a 26-year-old Ph.D. candidate in industrial and manufacturing engineering at Penn State University. Verma is also the co-founder and CEO of Lightscline, a company that offers AI-based data-reduction software.

Verma said his interest in manufacturing began in high school in Western India and cited his father’s background as a mechanical engineering professor. Verma has held internships with GM and Tata Technologies, was awarded a National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps national and mini grant, is a recipient of the Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and, most recently, was recognized by SME as one of the 2023 “30 Under 30” honorees.

In this episode, Verma discusses:

  • Getting into smart manufacturing and creating Lightscline (1:03)
  • Challenges that come with being a Gen Z entrepreneur (3:24)
  • Influencing older generations and vice versa (3:58)
  • The roles of mentors and advisors in manufacturing (7:05)
  • How the United States’ opinion of Gen Z workers compares to other countries (7:48)
  • The specific strengths that Gen Z offers to smart manufacturing (9:20)
  • Strengths Gen Z needs to succeed in manufacturing beyond technical expertise (10:33)
  • How traditional manufacturing industries will adapt to Gen Z approaches (11:29)
  • Why Gen Z workers in the U.S. are not as passionate about manufacturing as Gen Z workers in other countries (12:33)
  • How better messaging can attract Gen Z talent (13:26)

Gen Z in Manufacturing Episodes

Please make sure to like and share this episode of Gen Z in Manufacturing. If you are a member of Gen Z and would like to discuss your experience in the manufacturing industry, please contact Nolan Beilstein at [email protected].

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