Grab Good Employees When You Find Them


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It is Monday morning, and Bill, your most experienced moldmaker, just left your office after telling you that Friday is his last day. Bill turned 67 last month, and his annual checkup was not so good, so his wife drew a line in the kitchen and now he is retiring to Arizona. You look at the car park through the window and think to yourself, “How am I going to replace him? And I have three big jobs due in 20 days for my biggest customer!”

There is a quiet crisis out there in the labor market. Young men and women interested in entering manufacturing are in short supply. How many parents urge their children to look into machining, metrology, and die and mold construction? Your own kids are leaning toward medicine and Harvard Business School. This is not a problem that is being ignored, but it does need your help for a solution.

Every State has programs aimed at producing qualified recruits for manufacturers, and for training and retaining them once they are working. The numbers do not meet demand, but clever human resource directors can still grab good candidates. How is this done?

  • By networking with faculty in State or regional technical high schools to identify good students and offer them part-time jobs and summer internships.
  • By getting to know advisors and administrators at local community colleges and four-year institutions offering technology and engineering degrees.
  • By offering good prospects the chance to see factory life as it really is, not as it is portrayed by the media.
  • By giving them the chance to make some money and to see future opportunities.
  • By becoming involved with local manufacturing associations, chambers of commerce, and governmental workforce alliances which operate training, education and orientation programs designed to attract young people who want good jobs and good benefits.

Modern manufacturing is a ticket to steady work, high pay, training, benefits, a sense of accomplishment, and a chance at creating one’s own business. Sell this to young people disillusioned with the service sector and some of them will join your team. Do it right, and slowly but surely you will replace Bill and all the others who will disappear over the next 10 years.

For more information from Alexis N. Sommers, Ph.D. of the University of New Haven call (203) 932-7394.

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