NTMA, Robots and Toolkits for Manufacturers to Battle the Skills Gap

It’s an ongoing concern. How will manufacturing companies fill the skills gap as the many veteran employees approach retirement?


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It’s an ongoing concern. How will manufacturing companies fill the skills gap as the many veteran employees approach retirement? Fortunately, there are more and more businesses and organizations working together to do battle with the skills gap and some are using robotics for added “punch”.

One example is Chicago-based LoSasso Integrated Marketing and its work with the National Tooling and Machining Association, or NTMA, to unveil a platform of web-based tools designed to help member companies build their local talent pipeline through the association’s flagship educational program, the National Robotics League (NRL). The work is the result of $25,000 of free marketing services the agency pledged to donate to a worthy non-profit as part its 25th anniversary.

Anyone who’s ever attended a recent IMTS event and observed the various displays of robots in battle competition, or robots shooting baskets like pros in the Student Summit pavilion, knows that robotics can and do play a large role in manufacturers’ ability to partner with schools to get young people excited about mathematics, engineering and, ultimately, manufacturing as a career. The NRL’s charge to LoSasso was to help recruit manufacturers and job shops to advise local student teams in the design and construction of battle-ready robots for competition.

“Only manufacturing companies are able to truly train the next generation of workers and change the perceptions of working in the industry, making them vital to the process and the NRL,” Bill Padnos, director at NRL said. “The new landing page and downloadable toolkits will dramatically help getting businesses involved.”

I agree, and I have no doubt that this project will yield some great results for the NTMA.

To learn more about what others, including MMT, are doing to help bridge the skills gap in moldmaking specifically, check out our Next Generation Zone. In it, you’ll find articles and tools that can be used in the classroom, at industry events, career fairs and anywhere else you can find the opportunity to present the exciting career that is mold manufacturing. Like the NTMA’s National Robotics League and LoSasso, these resources were created with the cooperation and support of your moldmaking industry peers and organizations like the AMBA, SPE, SME and SPI to shine a bright light on our industry.


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