Friday, January 24, 2014

Get Involved or Die Trying

Most manufacturers I talk to these days are looking for skilled machinists. Also, I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere that this IS a problem and that the problem will only get worse before it gets better. While we wait for the education system to produce the number of skilled machinists that are needed, there is something a shop or company owner can do.

Get involved! I know that many owners, presidents and other management folks are busy and have a hard time taking a coffee break let alone go off site to work on personnel development.

I recommend that shop owners get directly involved in their local schools, technical schools and/or community colleges. You can arrange to visit these facilities and speak with students, parents and counselors to tell them of the great opportunities for a satisfying and profitable career in manufacturing. I’d suggest seventh and eighth graders because most career decisions and educational path choices are made at this time.

You can also offer to host open houses at your facility to show these same folks how a modern shop looks. Most people will be impressed as I’m confident that most of the so-called “dungeon” looking shops have folded.

I’m only suggesting that you get involved with local public/private and technical schools. If you care to “go large” and get involved with your county and state institutions, feel free. You’ve got to put yourself out there and break the mold to change the dynamic of just waiting for qualified machinists to walk in. They won’t just appear and you’ll still be wondering what to do to get more workers.

The sad part is that without direct involvement by industry, the result is that the schools will have no direction and information to pass to parents, teachers and guidance counselors. In this vacuum, the misinformed will continue to spout the “need to get a college degree” to succeed.

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing something over and over and expecting to get a different result. Break the cycle by going out and helping your local schools develop the next generation of workers.

Check out this link to a recent video by Mike Rowe, the “Dirty Jobs” guy when he questions the need for more debt ridden graduates that will default on their loans while working at Starbucks.  Click Here for Video

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