A rather common ‘theme’ for U.S. manufacturers in today’s workplace is the difficulty in finding trained, qualified talent to fill a variety of skilled labor positions.
Whether it is painting a part or turning a wrench, or now, operating intricate machinery, specific skill sets need to be acquired through training or schooling for high quality demanding manufacturing. With the increased level of automation and sophisticated controls has arisen the need for trained and qualified workers more than ever before. So what has been the recent trend?
- Specialized Skills – One of the reasons the skills gap has occurred is that new technology and improved processes require higher, more specialized skill sets. At best, the manufacturing of 25-35 years ago would have been considered semi-skilled. Now, the majority of unskilled or semi-skilled jobs and processes have been outsourced, meaning that the jobs that have been retained require advanced skill sets.
- Lagging Education – Over the last 25 to 30 years, the manufacturing education system has been reduced or eliminated, so it has become harder for potential manufacturing employees to get training. Manufacturing has also reduced apprenticeships programs. Both of these need to be revitalized to improve the number of skilled and qualified workers.
- A Rebounding Industry – The layoffs and cutbacks that date back to before the recent recession are now being looked at as likely having been too drastic, forcing manufacturing workers into new careers. Many of these ex-manufacturing workers will be hesitant to return to former careers.
- Different Mindsets – Both manufacturers and potential employees need to change their mindsets. Manufacturing is no longer the dirty plants of years past, needing mid-level skill sets to earn mid-level wages. Many members of the boomer generation still look at manufacturing this way, and pass on that idea to their children, when manufacturing has actually raised working conditions as well as skills. However, not all manufacturers have been willing to produce wages and incentives that should coincide with the increased need in skills. Both sides need to work on this issue.
Here at Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we are always searching for more skilled and qualified CNC machine operators, along with engineers, programmers, and many other positions. As a leading manufacturer in the high-growth field of both aerospace and power generation turbine engine components, we are constantly growing and developing as the demand continues to increase. We are committed to growing the manufacturing workforce, training new workers when needed, and offering wages and packages fitting the skill sets required. Check out our careers page for more information!