Manufacturing Workforce is Evolving - Remke Blog

Things Learned at IMTS 2014
Sensors, advanced integrated circuits and software are now totally embedded in new production equipment that was displaced at the recent International Machine Technology Shown in Chicago. And the new production equipment requires a new workforce capable of running them.

Alibaba and the threat they pose to the US Distribution chainInterviewed by Manufacturing & Technology News Editor Richard McCormack at IMTS 2014, 250 to 300 people responded to questions about the state of the American manufacturing industry. The majority of those interviewed stated that business is going “gangbusters, or is “busy-busy” or (most commonly) “booming”……….especially those involved in medical equipment, automotive, energy production, aerospace and in low-volume custom parts.

But without prompting, virtually all of those interviewed said their companies are facing a formidable challenge: they can’t find people who know how to work the new equipment.

Those interviewed by Mr. McCormack said that they needed was “a new generation of manufacturing workers who are really good at engineering, kinetics, computer programming and math — algebra, geometry, calculus and especially trigonometry.” Such workers can start at $27 per hour and quickly move up to $32 an hour if they show potential and gain experience. Students enrolled in the right technical & vocational training programs are “getting hired out of school before they graduate.” One manufacturing executive said “they can earn $70,000 to $80,000 a year yet we can’t find people coming out of college who can do this work…..it’s crazy.”

Dozens of others that Mr. McCormack interviewed stated that for some reason “younger workers are distracted by cell phones and social networks and seem lackadaisical, unwilling to put in the hard work that is required to learn the technical skills.” One manufacturing company owner said “just getting people to come to work is the biggest problem – or just passing drug tests.”

What can be done to get the younger generation to see the potential in manufacturing careers? And is what some of those interviewed your experience with younger workers? We look forward to reading your comments and hope you’ll share this blog with your colleagues. And as always – thank you for subscribing to EVERYTHING’S CONNECTED.