Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let’s Get Serious About Manufacturing

Hey manufacturers! It is time to step up and get involved. We, as an industry, need to emphatically tell the academics and governmental folks what we need and keep the pressure up until our industry has their full cooperation and support.

What do I mean?

First, you need to get a hold of your local school system and ask them how they are supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for their students. They will need to explain to you what programs they are offering and how they intend to graduate more students with these skills. Contact the curriculum coordinators and/or district superintendent in your area.

Second, you need to contact your local community colleges and see if they are offering any course work in the precision machining sector and how it dovetails with any course work at the high school level. Find out if they offer NIMS (National Institute of Manufacturing Skills) certifications after completion of certain course work. If they don’t, tell them they should. Contact the head of the engineering/machining/technology department.

Third, start networking within your local manufacturing community and see if there are trade associations such as NTMA chapters or other governmental bodies(commerce authorities or chambers of commerce) that are coordinating efforts which are working to increase participation of students.

Fourth, contact your state and federal government representatives and see what legislation they are working on that will promote manufacturing jobs and skills education. You can use my favorite phrase—“Only manufacturing, mining and farming create wealth, everybody else just moves the money around.” Remind them that “EVERYTHING” we use everyday, gets made somewhere. Technology is the method we use to get there. Let’s balance the technology push with the core value of making things.

That’s the plan. I know that everybody is very busy keeping themselves in business.  Without a little help from the folks I’ve mentioned above, it’s going to be increasingly more difficult to get and keep employees. Let’s take the bull by the horns and get it done.

Contact me should you care to discuss at

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