There has been a great deal of attention paid to the skills gap facing American manufacturers. We all know that many young people shy away from STEM education and they have a distorted, grimy, perception of manufacturing employment and careers.
Filling the education gap
There has been much discussion about the need for quality STEM education and skilled workers. Both go hand-in hand. Many companies today complain that they can’t find people with the aptitude needed to work in a modern manufacturing facility. Unlike many European countries, the apprenticeship opportunities in the U.S. have fallen to the wayside. So, our high schools are filling the gaps in education and experience. These schools are doing an outstanding job of taking on the challenge.
STEM education in the suburban Philly region.
In the Philadelphia metro area, we are blessed to have some top notch technical high schools and programs. We encourage these high schools students to continue their education and training in STEM related fields. We know the opportunities in manufacturing are plentiful and financially rewarding.
There was a time many decades ago, when employees joined companies with the expectation of a long career. Companies were loyal to employees, and the employees reciprocated. Today, the employment picture is much different. Higher unemployment rates, coupled with the constant pressure to reduce head-count have served to create a job market where neither side of the equation seems to feel a strong loyalty to one another. In fact, the most recent recession has incentivized many unhappy workers to stay put until better opportunities become available. According to the "What's Working" research study by Mercer, a global consulting firm “In the U.S., the percentage of workers who said they wanted to leave and get a new job rose nine percentage points, from 23% in 2005 to about one in three, or 32%, in 2010.” If the employment rates continue to improve, many of these workers will move onto other opportunities.
Here is an interesting Infographic sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), and the U.S. Commerce Department's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). MEP is part of DOC's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Lisa Christman, Senior Director of Human Resources for The Rodon Group receives honors.
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the Bucks County Youth Council recognized Lisa Christman, Sr. Director of Human Resources for The Rodon Group and K’NEX Brands. The event was held to show appreciation for youth mentoring, training and partnerships in Bucks County.
Like many manufacturers, The Rodon Group has a history of providing the skills and training needed to be productive in our manufacturing environment. However, employment candidates must have a strong educational background in math and science. Without this basic skills set, the likelihood for success diminishes greatly.
Liz Clamen, co-anchor of After The Bell, a Fox Business News program, featured an interview with The Rodon Group and K'nex Brands President and CEO Michael Araten.
High schools and colleges throughout the country pay tribute to Rube Goldberg’s legacy every year though The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. According to the contest website “The Rube Goldberg Machine Contests bring Goldberg's cartoons to life as a way of helping students transcend traditional ways of looking at problems, taking them into the intuitive chaotic realm of imagination. The resulting inventions are collections of bits and pieces, parts of now useless machines, cobbled together to achieve an innovative imaginative, yet somehow logical contraption to meet the annual contest challenge.”
A recent 60 Minutes segment entitled "Three Million Open Job in the U.S., but who's qualified?", addressed many questions regarding manufacturing employment and the skills needed to succeed. Below we have some highlighted issues and information regarding manufacturing in the America.