Tag Archives: younger generations in manufacturing industry

Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. hosts Mason H.S. Students

Approximately thirty Mason City (Ohio) High School students along with parent chaperons were given a tour of the Hi-Tek Manufacturing operations on Friday, February 17th.  The tour was organized by one of the student’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Stevens.  Their son is currently involved in classes in AutoCAD and other design engineering disciplines. Additional students in the class joined in to have a first-hand look at the complex manufacturing processes utilized by Hi-Tek in manufacturing HGP components for the turbine engine industry.

Hi-Tek

The tour was divided into three groups, where each of the smaller groups toured the manufacturing facility first, reviewing processes such as CNC grinding, machining, laser drilling and cutting, and various EDM operations.  After observing the manufacturing processes, the groups toured the design facility where Hi-Tek designers demonstrated the use of 3-D Unigraphics and other drawing techniques.  Taking customer provided models, the Hi-Tek designers also demonstrated how these 3-D models are studied, rotated, and utilized to accurately design the fixtures and tools required to manufacture the various required features into the castings.

The group asked numerous questions and experienced first-hand the practical application of graphic design as it applies to the manufacturing process.  At a final wrap up, there were numerous questions about the various manufacturing operations as well as the markets Hi-Tek serves.

“There are excellent career opportunities in manufacturing,” commented Phil Janson, Hi-Tek President to the group.  He went on to encourage the young students to consider manufacturing design, engineering, and other numerous opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Most impressive was the fact that these high school students made the trip on their own time as the Mason HS classes were not in session that day.

Generation Y Candidates in High Demand for Manufacturing Jobs

HiTek mfg CNC grinding

The manufacturing industry is facing a generational gap issue, especially among the youth of the so-called “Generation Y.” In fact, by the year 2025, approximately 75% of the workforce will be from that generation. As older generations in the industry begin to retire from their manufacturing jobs, there are very few in younger generations who are either qualified or willing to apply for those manufacturing jobs to replace these retirees. This will have a negative effect on the industry in the years to come.

Fortunately, there are young students who are working on their proper education for these future jobs, however, the vast majority of them haven’t finished school yet. This leaves a large gap between people who are leaving the manufacturing sector and new talent people who aren’t yet ready to enter the workforce.

The main reason younger generations aren’t applying for these positions is because of negative stereotypes that surround the manufacturing industry. According to ThomasNet.com’s 2013 Industry Market Barometer survey of over 1,200 manufacturing companies, 7 out of 10 companies feel that manufacturing careers have a negative public perception, especially with younger generations.

However, as we move quickly towards a technology-based world, manufacturers see these new technologies as opportunities for growth. Eight out of 10 companies plan to use new technology to increase production in the upcoming year. Since the current generation is being raised in a world driven by technology, this will help attract more people in that age group into taking on these open manufacturing positions.

Besides utilizing technology, another way to improve the manufacturing job market is to give younger generations a deeper understanding of the manufacturing industry itself. By raising awareness about what they do, manufacturers can begin to distance the industry from any negative connotations that people may have. Manufacturers can do this by partnering with job recruiting agencies, creating education tools and factory tours for elementary and middle schools or providing internship programs for high school or college students.

Another option to consider is to re-brand the manufacturing market to make it more innovative and up to date for current and future generations. By making efforts like these, manufacturers will begin to bridge the gap between generations and get more people excited about manufacturing.