Modern Machine Shop

NOV 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 47 of 155

THE VIEW FROM MY SHOP MMS NOVEMBER 2018 46 A Metalworking Leader's Perspective Solving the Education Gap One way that shops can address the skills gap and the looming labor dilemma is to start making their own talent. GRADY COPE | CONTRIBUTOR Lack of labor and talent is the No. 1 growth inhib- itor for American manufacturers, according to the 2018 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights report compiled by EKS&H and the Leading Edge Alliance. In fact, I know manufacturers who have turned down orders due to lack of skilled workers. Here in Colorado, where the unemployment rate is hovering around 2 percent, many manufacturers have resorted to poaching talent from neighboring manufacturers or hiring from out of state. Both practices are inflationary and detrimental to our industry. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. reports that recruiting, hiring and training cost Colorado businesses $24,000 for each in-state employee, a price that is expected to escalate at the rate of 21 percent over the next five years. Workforce problems are compounded because our current system of career, tech- nical education and middle-skills training has a sustainability problem. Schools rarely have the funding to acquire the state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment used by our industry today. Moreover, they often stuggle to keep curiculucm current with the rapid pace at which new technologies are adopted in the workplace. Colorado manufacturers have come to realize we need to stop buying our workforce and relying on schools as the exclusive producer of that talent. Instead, we need to start making our workforce through apprenticeships. I am proud to be one of the first companies to hire a youth apprentice as part of CareerWise Colorado's modern youth apprenticeship program. CareerWise was created with the vision to create a youth apprenticeship system that meets employer and community needs, improves student outcomes and delivers a postive return on investment to hiring businesses. At the end of their sophomore year of high school, potential apprentices applied to our Gabe Wenaas, Programming Engineer and NIMS On The Job Trainer (OJT), teaches Jacob Pederson, second year apprentice at Reata Engineering.

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