As many of you know, one of my favorite topics is how to bring well-qualified people into the manufacturing workforce. A request to discuss the state of manufacturing from the perspective of someone actually running a manufacturing facility is a welcome opportunity. Recently I was invited to be interviewed on the Wharton School’s Business Radio program, found on Sirius XM 111. The show’s two co-hosts are: Peter Capelli, a renowned expert in human resources and labor; and Dan O’Meara, a practicing attorney with extensive experience in employment litigation, labor relations and preventive human resource practices. You can get a more complete bio of the two hosts here.
The focus of the radio show, as stated on their web site, is to “examine the workplace and the challenges faced by business owners and job seekers.” You can listen to by interview from January 18, 2018 by clicking here and searching the list of interviews. As of this posting my interview is, for now, relatively current so it is at or near the top of the list.
During the interview I made the case for generating a workforce of smart people with the combination of brains and skilled hands. There are many individuals who enter high school who are autodidacts, learning by doing. In the past these people would be found in the hands-on classrooms: metal shops, wood working, auto shops and so on. Those high school classes disappeared to be replaced by computer labs.
Now manufacturing is struggling to find people with practical problem-solving skills. And they are looking to the education community to develop the paths for students to a successful manufacturing career. Manufacturing should not be looked upon as the second choice to a four-year degree. Students need both the understanding of the opportunities in manufacturing, as well as the tools to acquire the skills manufacturers are seeking.
Please take a few minutes to listen to the interview and feel free to contact me to discuss how Winzeler Gear is partnering with schools to start to develop the next generation of skilled hands.