Precision Plus, Inc. is featured in the latest issue of Wisconsin STEM Pathways Magazine.
The article, entitled Companies in the Classroom–Putting the Classroom in the Workplace, chronicles the company’s two year journey from a concept to the reality of having an internship and a apprenticeship program for high school and college students, as well as a fully equipped classroom within its facilities.
PMPA member companies recognize the challenge of finding a skilled workforce.
That’s why companies like Precision Plus, Inc. are actually doing something about it.
And why we are active working locally and nationally to make a difference and change the conversation about skills and careers and economic success.
Congratulations to Precision Plus, Inc., for leading the way to create the skilled workforce our industry needs.
To download a PDF of the complete article, click here. The Precision Plus Inc. Blog Precision Plus Website
Guest post by Frances Brunelle, at Accelerated Buy Sell Blog I was really impressed with her thinking- and the fact that she offers a solution. Last week I attended the quarterly meeting of the NJTMA. The new president of the association, Mr. Alan Haveson, asked the audience by a show of hands, how many were in need of skilled workers. Almost every hand in the room went up. As I looked around the room, I noticed that a majority of the business owners were sporting grey, salt & pepper or white hair. Mr. Haveson went on to talk about the responsibility to transfer knowledge to the next generation before it’s too late. That night I enjoyed catching up with some of my long time customers. They all talked about how hard it is to find good qualified machinists. For a few seconds I wondered how the industry got itself into this position. I answered my own question in my head because I’ve read enough books, authored enough articles and been entrenched in the industry long enough to know.
This didn’t happen over night. It was slow and steady. It happened one student at a time, being told that manufacturing was not a worthy profession. It happened in almost every high school across the country, as guidance counselors encouraged other types of careers.
We, as a society, allowed the image of US manufacturing to be tarnished.
We didn’t speak up. We didn’t allow our voices to be heard. We allowed our collective paradigm to shift away from the idea that making things here at home is a good and worthy profession. When did graduating college with a mountain of debt and a degree for something for which one can’t find a job become the norm?
The whole situation reminds me of the story of how DeBeers altered the way many nations looked at diamond engagement rings over the course of a generation. In 1967 only about 5% of Japanese women sported a diamond engagement ring. In 1981 the figure rose to about 60%. How did DeBeers accomplish this? The same way they did in every other country, through advertising. Through relentless advertising over multiple media, the rare became the norm and a new paradigm was created for the furtherance of the company’s bottom line.
Are you asking what diamonds have to do with a generation of US students rejecting manufacturing as a viable career? Was this rejection the paradigm of generations past? Of course not! It was slow and steady encouragement and “advertising,” by an industry that would make more money based on student’s choices. Before I inspire a bunch of hate mail, I am NOT saying that traditional four-year colleges are bad. What I’m saying is that we all must keep in mind that the secondary education system is a business that seeks its own perpetuation. Colleges are a business just like DeBeers that have a vested interest in an entire population viewing what they provide as an absolute must. I think that it’s smart to question the “norms” in society. Don’t think so? Where are the jobs today? How many folks do you know have their adult children living with them, because they can’t find employment after college? How fast would these kids find a job if they knew how to program a CNC machining center? So how do we fix this? We didn’t get here over night, and this won’t be fixed overnight. But it can be a slow and steady storm. An army of people who work in manufacturing and supporting industries speaking, writing, advertising and advocating for the industry. It starts with people like Al Haveson challenging the membership of a State Manufacturing Association to do their part to pass the baton to the next generation. It starts with folks like Anthony LaMastra, former president of the same association, working hard to get a regional manufacturing training center in our state. It starts with apprenticeship programs around the country. It starts with people like Gene Haas making generous donations of machining centers to manufacturing educational programs throughout the country. It starts with other machine tool builders following Mr. Haas’s lead. It starts with people like you going to your son or daughters school to talk about how cool it is to MAKE things.
So many MILLIONS of great minds within the manufacturing community will retire in the next 10-20 years. What can you do to give back after you retire? Will you be a volunteer, a mentor or a writer? How will you help champion the industry once you retire? What would result if this conversation happens at EVERY state manufacturing association? What if it happens at a national level?
What happens if we go “DeBeers” on an entire generation of young people to champion US manufacturing?
PMPA member and Erie, Pa employer American Turned Products looking to increase its skilled workforce by 30%!
Click here for Video Erie TV Channel 12 :
“Manufacturing jobs are plentiful in Erie County and throughout North America.
That’s the word from Darlene Miller, President of the Precision Machined Products Association. Miller was in Fairview today touring the shop at American Turned Products. She says there are job openings at every shop she has visited. She says the challenge facing manufacturing shops is finding interested and qualified people to fill job openings. She blames parents who are not encouraging young people to consider a career in manufacturing.
“We’re the guilty ones because we’re not showing them what manufacturing’s all about. Plus, our schools have stopped having any kind of manufacturing-type classes, whether it’s tool shop, automotive, or whatever. So they’re not exposed to manufacturing and they have no clue how high-tech it really is,” Miller said.
American Turned Products currently has 130 employees. It plans to increase its work force by 30% by the end of next year.”