“The manufacturing industry is facing an employment crisis. The rate of technical advances has outpaced our ability to educate and train workers on new machines and applications, creating a “skills gap.”–Mark Tomlinson, CEO, Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
I thought it was interesting that even during the depths of the last recession, the classified ads in the major newspapers still showed opportunities for setup and machinists in our precision machining sector of advanced manufacturing. It’s still true today. We have visited local community colleges around the country that provide machining training and we hear the same story, after the first semester, “most of our students already have found a job or have one promised upon graduation.”
Here’s more from Mark-
“This is a great time to work in manufacturing. We’re applying once pie-in-the-sky technologies to real-world needs: creating strong yet flexible limb replacements for our wounded warriors, robots that crawl into the fuselage of an aircraft, mountain bikes for extreme enthusiasts, engineered for safety pushing the boundaries of men and machine. It’s stuff that captures the imagination.
“Yet students are not pursuing these jobs despite the cool factor. Some of it is institutional and some of it is perception. A major challenge is there is no academic infrastructure to administer STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum on a national scale. That’s compounded by a lack interest in STEM by educators, parents and students who may be more inclined toward attending a four-year college.”
We need to help change the perception of manufacturing and skilled trades. In educators, parents, and students.
We need to help change the notion that going heavily into debt for a bachelors degree without a plan for return on investment (ROI) is the way for our sons and daughters to get their start in life.
We need to show parents, students, counselors, teachers, our communities, the “existential joys of manufacturing”- the cool stuff we make, the high tech machines we use to make it, and the broad math, science, problem-solving intellectual skill set that we bring to our work.
That our skilled machinists are worthy of the highest respect.
If you would like to investigate a career in advanced manufacturing / precision machining- we’ve prepared a a database to help you access training resources wherever you are. PMPA Career Info Database.
For more info you can also search on “Manufacturing,” “Skills,” or “Career” in this blog’s search box in the upper right corner.
Or go to PMPA website Careers section.