Are you engaged in an ongoing, seemingly endless staffing search for a CNC programmer? Are you having trouble finding and retaining specific types of mechanical and electrical technicians? Where do you turn when you need machinists and skill-specific craftspeople, and are these resources providing the talent you’re looking for? If you’re like 65 percent of survey respondents in the manufacturing industry, you’re struggling to find qualified candidates for skilled manufacturing positions. And while your search goes on, these positions stand empty or are occupied by untrained and under-qualified help.
Staffing Skilled Manufacturing Positions
We live in a curious age. While the job market struggles, millions of talented employees stand in line for work. But their specific skills don’t necessarily match company need in local areas. As companies grow, they cut costs by shipping positions to less expensive candidate pools overseas. And meanwhile, our education system labors to keep up with the increasingly diverse and specialized skills sets generated by sophisticated, programmable manufacturing equipment. Educational programs are often too general to be of value to employers, or too specific, long, and expensive to interest potential students. Matching the right candidate to the right job has now become a search for a needle in a haystack the size of the entire nation, if not the world.
The internet has arrived just in time to help partially resolve this problem, but online job boards aren’t quite enough to keep up with shifting trends and fluctuations in candidate availability. In terms of human capital and HR sourcing, both the obstacles and advantages to business growth are increasing at similar rates.
Manufacturing Industry Staffing: Training Programs
The answer may lie in on-the-job and manufacturer-sponsored training programs. Consider programs like Right Skills Now, launched as a pilot at the Dunwoody College of Technology and South Central Community College in Minnesota. This is a 24-week program broken down into 18 weeks of classes and labs, followed by a six-week paid internship as a CNC operator. The program works in partnership with several manufacturing training institutions in order to provide the curriculum and generate the skills that manufacturers need.
Will programs like this succeed? The answer will depend on two primary factors: Students must find long-term value in the training they receive, enough value for them to keep lining up, showing interest, and justifying both student and industry investments. And the program must be replicable across the entire industry, covering more than just the regional area and offering more than just CNC skills. If these things materialize during the next few years, this form of industry training may expand opportunities for employees and also help manufacturers staff much-needed positions and follow through on company growth goals.
For more information about Right Skills Now and other pilot manufacturing training initiatives, contact the Washington employment experts at the Pace Staffing Network. We provide the resources you need to match the right applicant with the right job, every time.