As we turn our calendars to September, another school year is underway, and with that I’m reminded of one of the moldmaking industry’s most pressing issues: securing a talented, qualified workforce—for which training and education is key.
The current skilled workforce shortage and future workforce issues will remain hot topics for the foreseeable future, making it very important for us to continue to discuss with each other—as well as present in our trade magazines and Web sites—the strategies and trends for incumbent worker training, including return on investment education and methodologies; increasing awareness of industry-recognized, standards-based certification systems; retirement trends, ways for shops to work with local educational institutions; best practices for recruiting; and, the importance of investing in people as well as equipment and software systems.
Not only are classes starting for students across the nation at this time, it also marks the beginning of IMTS (The International Manufacturing Technology Show sponsored by The Association of Manufacturing Technology, AMT) on September 6th and running through the 13th at McCormick Place in Chicago. Running concurrently with the show once again is the Student Summit.
AMT entered into a co-marketing partnership earlier this year with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), and since then NIMS has assumed management of the Student Summit at IMTS.
This year—after having nearly 6,000 students and educators from all over the world in 2004—they are continuing to “bring tomorrow’s workforce in contact with today’s technology” by inviting exhibitors, students and educators to join together under one roof and connect on a level they cannot achieve in a classroom.
The NIMS Student Summit focuses on changing the dirty and unsafe perception many people have of the moldmaking industry—and manufacturing as a whole—by providing students with a chance to see today’s advanced manufacturing technologies in action while being able to speak with machine tool builders and technicians on hand; data on the current state and future of manufacturing; and, information on available career opportunities.
Visit www.imts.com for more information on the Student Summit.
Remember, the only way to truly make this happen is for industry and educators to work together in programs such as this to bring a deeper understanding of the industry and what it has to offer to the forefront, thus upholding the proper image of our industry to the world.