The New Skill Set

Strategies for recruiting and retaining the next generation of workers.


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The number one challenge facing the industry today remains our skilled workforce, so in looking for some guidance on how to cover this effectively I turned to a guy I’ve known for a few years who comes from one of our past Leadtime Leaders—Commercial Tool & Die of Comstock Park, MI. His name is Ryan Pohl, and he believes it’s time to focus on a completely different set of skills.

Ryan was Training Coordinator at Commercial Tool—a manufacturer of plastic injection and die cast molds and, through its sister companies, fixtures, special machinery and custom molding for the automotive, appliance, hardware and toy industries—and has been President of Expert Tech—24/7 online training programs—since 2009. He is a journeyman CNC machinist with high-speed and multi-axis machining experience and is a State of Michigan certified manufacturing teacher with an Associate’s degree in Manufacturing Tooling, a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Education and a Master’s degree in Industrial Training and Development. Ryan believes that with renewed pride in workmanship and an updated training format, we can secure our future as leaders in the industry. He will be sharing with us a bi-monthly series (see page 10) covering a variety of real training strategies—new employee orientation training; the first 90-days training; preparing for apprenticeship; executing apprenticeship training; available training resources; employee talent management; and continuous education for incumbent employees—and then we will speak with shops using those strategies. For example the case study on page 26 that shows the benefits of the right training to hot runner system design.

Now since I brought up Leadtime Leaders earlier, I want to remind you that our 2013 nomination campaign is underway. The MMT-sponsored Awards honor North American mold manufacturers who demonstrate overall innovation, efficiency, quality and commitment within their mold design, build, repair and management operations.

We believe it is those nominees, honorable mentions and winners—whether large or small shops—that are investigating and investing in training initiatives. If you want to investigate the Leadtime Leader Awards program or are ready to nominate your shop, go online to: www.moldmakingtechnology.com/articles/leadtime-leader-awards

Some winning benefits include a cover story in MMT’s amerimold show issue; a free 10x10 booth with two free conference registrations for amerimold 2013 – June 12&13 in Rosemont, IL; and an advertising  program in Plastics Technology (ptonline.com) to market to more than 26,000 molding subscribers at more than 11,500 molding facilities.

It’s time to take a few minutes to learn to train our future workforce, and time to fill out that nomination form to be on your way for 2013 Leadtime Leader consideration.