The Stigma Attached to Moldmaking


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If your organization is like ours, your workforce is your most challenging resource.  Current U.S. moldmakers have a relatively mature workforce and in 10 years a significant number of workers will be retiring or close to it.  What are you doing to replace them?  With the perception that manufacturing in the United States is in constant decline and industrial arts programs being cut from shrinking school budgets, the numbers of new students with thoughts of manufacturing as a desirable career choice have dwindled significantly.  To make matters worse, being a CNC operator has made the top 10 worst jobs as listed by an article I saw in Forbes.  As our industry has progressed from moldmakers to mold manufacturers, the Journeyman toolmaker has gone by the wayside or soon will.  The appeal of aspiring to become a journeyman toolmaker is fading away, giving way to specialist positions that tend to have less appeal and have stigmas attached to them of being pigeon-holed into a no growth career choice. So what do we do to attract and develop the mold manufacturing talent we will need in a few short years to backfill those who are leaving the field?  How do we overcome the perceptions and stigmas that have been attached to the manufacturing industry as a whole to bring in new talent to moldmaking?