I recently started a discussion on LinkedIn about the need to attract youth to manufacturing and ways to do it. This discussion quickly received numerous comments sparking a meaningful discussion between manufacturers from all over the globe. I would like to share a few ideas from this discussion:
“I am VP of a machine shop in Oklahoma City. I’ve got plenty of work to do but not enough skilled labor. We started an “apprentice program” here and have been taking young people and training them how to be machinist. We’ve got two under the age of 24 and they have been doing great shadowing the more mature machinist we have! We hope it encourages them to continue on in this field!”
-Mary Jo Jerome
“One cool idea in the article was a new game called Plantville where players can simulate running a manufacturing plant. Teens love games like Minecraft which is all about building things; it’s like modern day legos. Maybe they’ll love Plantville as well!”
“I understand that we are all in business to make money, but maybe it is time for business’s in a geographic area to step up and create a training center that mainly targets our young people. Think about this, if 10-20 business’s in a large geographical area got together and provided the funding for a training center, what would the actual cost to benefit ratio be? It could provide our youth the training needed, give the employer a trained employee they did not have to spend time training on their floor along with the costs associated with that, give businesses a feeder program.”
“We have several programs within the state and here locally in West Michigan to attract and retain talent, for these positions and others. There are several organizations that work with high school kids, not just vo-tech centers, but FIRST Robotics and others who help make kids aware of the job opportunities in the manufacturing world.”
I’d like to thank all the professionals that shared their thoughts and concerns about this widespread issue in the industry. It is great to see so much enthusiasm from the several professionals that have joined this conversation.
Interested in reading more from this discussion? Want to share your own opinion and ideas? Then check out the full discussion here.