Planning for the 2030 Workforce Challenge

Christina Fuges and Marion Wells of Human Asset Management discuss what the year 2030 means to mold builders, the importance of shop culture to workforce development and a collaborative project on mentorship.
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Workforce development is an important topic here at MoldMaking Technology, one we have covered plenty of times before (such as in this article on how this mold builder takes a unique approach to quickly and effectively growing its own skilled workforce). One issue that comes up when we discuss workforce development is the year 2030. But what significance does 2030 have for the moldmaking industry?

At Amerimold 2019, our own Editorial Director Christina Fuges speaks with Marion Wells of Human Asset Management (now one of our Editorial Advisory Board members!) about what the year 2030 means to mold builders, the importance of shop culture to workforce development and an upcoming collaborative project on mentorship.


Christina Fuges: What is 2030?

Marion Wells: Oh, my God. We should be all excited about 2030, but instead people are overreacting about 2030. It is the tipping point of when the last baby boomer turns 65. And for most organizations, that could be a disruptor.

Fuges: For most, I would think, for all. So what does that mean exactly for mold builders, do you think?

Wells: Well, for mold builders, that they haven't been really focused on their workforce development there's a good chance that the last employee might be turning off the lights on them. In other words, that 65 year old might come into the office and say, you know what? I'm ready to quit. I'm ready to retire.

Fuges: So define for me what you think the actual awareness level is of a typical mold shop. How aware are they that this is actually this pending deadline?

Wells: You know what? I think there's been so much noise in the industry. There's been a lot of headlines about this. There's been a lot of talk about 2030 and the fact that the baby boomers are retiring quickly. But as far as taking action and doing something about it, I think that is where the disconnect is right now.

Fuges: What type of actions do you think people are not thinking about? They're doing the traditional things?.

Wells: They're doing the traditional things, but they're not thinking about alternative sources for talent. And where they can get that talent from? They're going to the same old mainstay. They're doing the apprenticeship programs, they're doing all of the Linkedin and they're doing the the training internally, they're going to the high school, but they're not doing any of the out of the box thinking.

Fuges: So can you give me one example of an out of the box?

Wells: Well, I think that Westminster Tool has done a great job for doing that out of the box. They made a strategic decision to go after young people to really, you know, pull them into their workplace. 60 percent of their workers, I think is under the age of 30 or are in that zone some place. They've created Westminster Academy. They've done some nontraditional things. And I think they're the leader in terms of setting the gold standard on what you can do and how it can benefit you.

Fuges: And what's key there to me is they're a smaller shop? So it shows that it's possible. You don't have to be a big guy. To try to solve this issue.

Wells: No, what you do have to do is have someone internally in your organization focus on the issue.

Fuges: So let's talk a little bit about this initiative we have going on between Gardner Business Media, Gardner Intelligence, MoldMaking Technology, Amerimold and Human Asset Management.

Wells: Well, I'm so excited to be a part of this initiative. I think that the story doesn't stop today. I think that there is a lot that we can share with the audience in terms of resources that they can utilize to make an impact tomorrow. Just ideas on what's really coming down the pipeline, connecting them to the broader audience in terms of the younger worker. So I think that there's a lot to come after today.

Fuges: Well, thanks, Marion. I look forward to working with you. For more on workforce development, visit moldmakingtechnology.com.

Keep up to date on how you can plan for the 2030 workforce challenge by reading MoldMaking Technology’s content on workforce development.

See more interviews and demonstrations videos from last year’s Amerimold, and be sure to check out all the exciting things in store for this year’s show


  • Copper Beryllium Vs. Beryllium-Free Copper

    Learning the advantages and disadvantages of each alloy coupled with adhering to safety measures can help your shop stay safe.

  • Finding, Training & Retaining Employees

    In this multi-part series of articles, contributor Ryan Pohl, a journeyman CNC machinist who also holds a master's degree in industrial training and development, addresses the skilled-labor shortage and its potential to dramatically hinder the future sustainability and growth of the moldmaking industry.

  • Precision Manufacturing Institute: Specialized Training

    This school works hand-in-hand with suppliers and shops—relying on their expertise and input to stay on top of industry trends and help develop a tailor-made curriculum in precision machining and moldmaking.