How to Prepare for the Widening Skills Gap

DID YOU KNOW that over the next decade more than 3.5 million jobs will need to be filled? And according to The Manufacturing Institute, we will only be able to fill roughly 1.5 million of those jobs. With all of those jobs left unfilled, you can only imagine how many companies will get left behind because they lost the ability to produce. Take a look at the harsh reality we’re facing:

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Every year we see more reports and forecasts urging manufacturers to do something about the skills shortage. It’s time for us to do our part and we want to empower you to keep manufacturing alive and well in America. It starts with the youth.

Manufacturers are the key to solving this (skills gap) problem. By aligning together and clearly defining their needs—and speaking with one voice, they can work with secondary and post-secondary schools and government to create a system that attracts, develops, and retains skilled manufacturing talent.”

-Dr. Charles (Chip) Blankenship, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Appliances & Lighting

We stopped engaging with younger generations and we stopped sharing our technological advances in the machine tool world. As a result, most millennials think manufacturing is a dying industry. They have no idea how many amazing opportunities are available for them to become engineers, programmers, product managers, marketers, and the list goes on. In order to transform our industry’s reputation, we need to work with schools to show students what modern manufacturing really is.

In December, we did just that. We donated our robust GT-1640 lathe to Simi Valley School and Institute to support their machinist training program. “The GT-1640 is ideal for this type of work because it is a powerful and precise lathe. It is also the type of machine students can expect to see when they enter the workforce,” said Simi Valley Lead Instructor Oygar Lindskog. >>Read the full story here.

While it may seem like giving away a machine is a big chunk of change, we know it will pay off in the long run. It’s our contribution to educating and invigorating people so that manufacturing continues to grow and thrive in America for generations to come.

img_0786-2Want to help bridge the skills gap? Here are some things you can do to grow the pool of manufacturing talent:

  • Donate equipment to local schools
  • Offer apprenticeship programs
  • Invest in training your current staff to get them up-to-speed
  • Work with staffing agencies
  • Sponsor certification programs
  • Work with local trade schools, high schools, colleges to:
    • Create internship programs
    • Plan field trips to your facility to show them cutting-edge technology
    • Produce job fairs
    • Speak at events about opportunities in the industry

As passionate manufacturers, we want to see our industry grow and help incoming generations succeed. Let’s work together to make that happen.

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Have any other ideas we forgot to mention? Or want to brainstorm with us? Share your thoughts:
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