It continues to amaze me how kids today still don't find manufacturing exciting; or, is it that we've just done a very poor job of marketing ourselves. I strongly believe the latter is the hard truth, and something which we need to address hard and fast!
I was recently part of a meeting that started off just wanting to hear from moldmakers about their needs, and how we—and other like-minded organizations—could do a better job of serving them. Well, that meeting quickly revealed what you probably already know: the only thing really on their minds is, “What are we going to do about our nonexistent future skilled workforce??”
To me it all boils down to one simple fact: manufacturing as a whole—and mold manufacturing even more so—has had bad PR. Bottom line: we aren't seeing any interest because we are not selling ourselves appropriately.
I believe we need to go mainstream to catch the attention of that next generation—as young as 12- to 16- year olds a critical age for this type of exposure. What do we do? There are so many efforts going on out there, and although many are wonderful, none hit that mainstream mark.
So, instead of talking amongst ourselves to find the answers, we need to go right to the source—12 to 16 year olds—and ask them what makes them tick. What kind of music, TV, videos, and games? What motivates them to buy, to engage, to participate, to want to learn more? Then craft the appropriate marketing campaign to capture the solid interest of some future mold manufacturers!
Let’s face it, they can't know if they like something, if they don't know it exists—or what it can do for them academically, socially, financially.
Below is a very small sampling of some videos. Run them by some unbiased 12 to 16-year-olds and see what they think.
Editor's PickDodging the Skills Gap in CNC Programming
Sometimes the search for fresh, new and skilled employees is like a game of dodgeball.