Throwback Thursday: Apprentice Training - Work Ethic and Attitude

Work ethic and a positive attitude. These are the unsung “hero traits” of moldmaking employers everywhere today. I understand from firsthand experience where today’s Throwback Thursday author is coming from.


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Society labels the incoming workforce as Millennials. They’re the future of our workforce and overall, our country. There are many older adults who are fearful about the future because they can’t relate to the Millennial mindset. They don’t understand their tendency to not want to work 12-hour days and weekends or their casual approach to the structured work day and setting goals and achieving them in a timely manner. 

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit rough on the Millennial—not every young, newly working-aged gal or guy approaches life so cavalierly. But it is a trend, as today’s author Ryan Pohl of Praeco Skills LLC points out in his article titled “Apprentice Training—Work Ethic and Attitude.” 

I relate to Mr. Pohl, who has helped numerous manufacturers train their apprentices in advanced manufacturing, when he says employers are finding it harder and harder to find new, young talent that is willing to show up for work every day, on time, and “perform the tasks he or she has been given without excuses, procrastination and pushback.” I relate because I hear this very same lamentation from moldmakers I interview for workforce development features in MMT.

The positive side of this Throwback is that it is filled with good advice employers can use to positively influence apprentices. “Let’s face it,” he says. “Once a new employee is hired, it becomes the company’s responsibility to teach that new hire the requirements and expectations of the position.” 

Yes, you say. You know this already. But wait, there’s more: “That not only means that the mold shop must be prepared to teach the employee how to build molds and run machines, but it must also be prepared to teach the new hire how to work with good work ethic and a positive attitude.” We’re talking the “soft skills,” now. Soft skills are something that Mr. Pohl says aren’t always taught by parents today—at least not the way we all learned them when we were in our formative years.

Take a few minutes to read this Skills Center column. Better yet, print it out and make sure anyone in your company who is responsible for training apprentices reads it and keeps it handy. You’ll be glad you did.