Sharing a Common Challenge: Workforce Development
Solving the ongoing skilled labor shortage is not only a moldmaking problem, it’s a manufacturing problem. And MoldMaking Technology’s parent company, Gardner Business Media, manages several brands covering the many facets of manufacturing, so we thought it would be cool, and interesting, if each team developed content on workforce development at the same time, so we could share it all with you.
Solving the ongoing skilled labor shortage is not only a moldmaking problem, it’s also a manufacturing problem. And MoldMaking Technology’s parent company, Gardner Business Media, manages several brands covering the many facets of manufacturing, so we thought it would be cool, and interesting, if each team developed content on workforce development at the same time, so we could share it all with you.
What we discovered is that manufacturers in various industry sectors are stepping up in ways everyone can learn from. So here is our current collection of articles covering the challenge of finding and developing the next generation of talent:
Additive Manufacturing: Penn State University has one of the first graduate degree programs in additive manufacturing. The program draws on both manufacturing and design, because of the way these functions are interrelated in AM. The article profiling this program includes links to video interviews with students pursuing this degree.
Composites World: In the last decade, several universities have established composites R&D labs, which are producing graduates focused on composites. The M.C. Gill Composites Center at the University of Southern California is an example, combining a devoted educator, a deep-pocketed alumnus and a growing crop of students who are doing substantial, practical research aimed at evolving both materials and processes in composites.
Modern Machine Shop: Moldmaker Westminster Tool solved its skilled labor problem by dramatically changing its culture. Emphasis on emotional intelligence allows for an environment of rapid and continuous learning in this shop, allowing inexperienced employees to develop needed skills quickly. In addition to an article profiling this shop’s experience, MMS also produced a video that includes interviews with various employees.
Part of the joint project with Modern Machine Shop: A human resources trainer with Westminster Tool writes about the impact of emotional intelligence, personality profiles and learning styles on training and productivity.
Plastics Technology: By creating their apprenticeship programs or tapping into newly formed apprentice systems, plastics processors are taking their future workforce needs into their own hands. Examples include an injection molder that established its own academy as well as another molder replicating a Swiss-styled training system created by a former molder. The way forward is seen in part through the journey two high schoolers have taken on the path to advanced manufacturing.
Products Finishing: Finishers are working to get shop personnel certified through coursework (as Certified Electroplater Finishers) to deepen their connection to the industry, in hopes of keeping these talented people and attracting more like them.
Another article addresses military training. The powder coating industry has launched a program in partnership with Workshops for Warriors to train those leaving military service to work in the coatings industry.
Solutions for managing the plastics supply chain improving OEMs' total cost of manufacturing.
A Series of International Standards for Quality Management and Quality Assurance
A mold-building perspective on Mexico’s manufacturing opportunities, trends and challenges.