By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter
Wait, Did You Feel That?
The needle began to move on the skilled trades gap.
Don’t look now, but the problem you’ve known about for a generation, the lack of people coming into the skilled trades, is finally going mainstream.
It’s subtle, but change is beginning to show.
Source: This Old House
First there are the local advocates, who have been talking about the problem for years. You know them, they’re in your local Union Hall, Welding School, or in the rapidly dwindling number of High School Vo-Tech programs. Or they’re part of the increasingly aging workforce itself, all too aware that there are more of them retiring than entering the workforce, and hanging around looking for someone to step up.
And there are now countless local efforts. Here in Northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga Community College launched a mobile workforce training center. Tri-C customizes it with virtual welders, CNC machines or other demos as the employer or school needs. Also in the Cleveland area, Lincoln Electric, whose Carl Peters is an advocate for training program development, recently capped off the framing of their new, $30 million welding technology center project.
Nationally the news is just as encouraging. Mike Rowe, who has capitalized on his TV fame to promote the trades through his foundation, is getting ready to take applications for 2017 scholarships. He’s also a great social media follow, and recently testified before congress.
Even more promising, This Old House, the venerable PBS show, launched Generation Next a partnership with MikeRoweWORKS designed to highlight the jobs available in the skilled trades and destigmatize these jobs for today’s youth.
NPR’s excellent Marketplace program recently had several in-depth features on training skilled workers, produced by senior education correspondent Amy Scott.
Plus, there are the national groups dedicated to the trades, Skills USA, Manufacturing Day and more.
So what are you doing? What plan does your company have, and how effectively is it implemented? A few places to get started/re-energized:
- Find national and local training programs with Sonnhalter’s list
- Approach local schools and investigate opportunities to show off the work you do by participating in Manufacturing Day
- Don’t let everyone leave early at your next trade show’s student day. Instead, find out what schools are coming and be proactive
- Work with your Trade Organization or Union, volunteer to be a part of their training efforts
There have never been more resources and creative thinking addressing this looming crisis. Is it enough? Probably not, but the needle has moved, and it’s in your company’s best interest to do what you can to help build momentum.
By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter
“Train your people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.”
A column I just read brought that quote to mind. Jack Schron, the President of Jergens recently wrote “Grey Matters Matter” for Production Machining magazine. It’s a great piece, and I highly recommend reading the full text.
Mr. Schron focuses on the fact that without a skilled workforce, all the advanced machining, Internet of Things (iOT) and new advances in precision machining are worthless. And the best way to achieve that skilled workforce is through good old experiential rather than textbook learning. And with the advances and costs, that type of training can’t be achieved by just manufacturers, or just trade schools, or any one affected segment. It requires all of them, working together to create state of the art Technical Centers. And that additionally, it required companies, vendors and partners willing to think outside the box and re-examine processes.
Find out one way Jergens has accomplished this by checking out their Fastforward™ Machining Center.
By Miles Free of PMPA. This post originally appeared on pmpaspeakingofprecision.com and is reposted with permission.
21,420 to be exact. This is a 20% increase in the number of credentials issued in the United States from 2014. It is a great start toward the 100,000 skilled jobs that industry will need to fill over the next decade…
20% more credentials issued in 2015 over 2014
PMPA is an original founding partner of NIMS, and continues to support its mission to develop and certify industry recognized credentials for our workforce through consensus skill standards.
NIMS has developed skills standards ranging from entry-level to master-level that cover the breadth of metalworking operations and industrial technology maintenance. NIMS certifies individuals’ skills against these national standards via credentials that companies can use to recruit, hire, place, and promote individual workers. Schools and employer training programs incorporate the credentials as performance and completion measures to deliver high quality training to industry standards. NIMS will soon add credentials in Industrial Technology Maintenance and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) to its portfolio of offerings in 2016-2017.
NIMS works to ensure all individuals entering the workforce are equipped with the skills needed to be successful on the job from day one.
“Executives from PMPA member shops all tell us that they would hire people with skills -even if they did not have an immediate opening,” says Bernie Nagle, Executive Director of PMPA. “Our support of NIMS, and the RIGHT SKILLS NOW program is one way that PMPA and our members are addressing the issue of lack of skilled workforce. We congratulate NIMS, and their entire team, on the growth in credentials issued in 2015.”
PMPA congratulates NIMS, all of its partner and sponsoring organizations, and the professionals doing the work that made 2015 a record year for credentials issued. This record is evidence of both the commitment and achievement of developing a competitive workforce through our NIMS community.
For more information about NIMS : NIMS READY
For more information about Right Skills Now: Right Skills Now
For more information about a career in Precision Machining: Career Overview
Career fact sheet
Each month we be feature a blog post from our friends at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network). MAGNET’s mission is to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio with the goal of transforming the region’s economy into a powerful, global player. You can visit MAGNET online at manufacturingsuccess.org.
Attracting and Retaining Manufacturing Talent
By Judith Crocker, Director of Workforce & Talent Development, MAGNET
Recent surveys of manufacturers consistently identify one of their top three priorities as workforce issues. Companies— regardless of size— recognize that a highly skilled, qualified workforce is critical to their success. Whether manufacturers are seeking to develop new products, enter new markets, or improve overall productivity, their workforce will be key to their ability to remain competitive and achieve their goals.
Companies that are successful in attracting and retaining talented people realize they must be pro-active and become part of their workforce solution.
Fewer young people are choosing manufacturing careers. They don’t know the opportunities or the educational requirements. Coupling that fact with smaller numbers of students in high school means a smaller pool of qualified candidates for employment.
To overcome that obstacle, smart manufacturers are actively engaging with educational institutions in their communities, informing students, teachers, guidance counselors and parents about the many stable and well-paying jobs they have available.
Starting with middle school age students, these manufacturers are sending young scientists, engineers, technicians and machine operators to visit local classrooms and talk with students about their work.
Students, teachers and parents are also invited to open houses to see the inside of plants and facilities they likely drive by on a daily basis, but have no idea of what is actually taking place inside. They tour the facility, are introduced to the young professionals in the company and see for themselves what takes place at that facility.
Many manufacturers are also sponsoring teams for the FIRST Robotics or Robobot competitions giving students valuable hands-on experience and also the opportunity to work as team members with engineers, technicians, and scientists to solve technical challenges.
Promising high school students can be provided shadowing opportunities that could lead to summer work-based learning experiences and possibly part-time employment during the school year. The students learn the company culture, its products, processes and customers and can contribute to the overall company goals. Many students who start out as part-time workers in high school often progress to achieve consistently higher company positions, becoming supervisors, managers, and executives.
October will once again be celebrated as Manufacturing Month in Ohio. This would be an ideal time for you to start your proactive campaign to build your workforce of the future by sponsoring an event in your local community. If you start planning now, you should be able to hold a successful community event at your facilities this October.
Click here to read the original post.