Crisis in Manufacturing

Today this tweet from Manufacturing Executive caught my eye on the #workforce Twitter stream:

Chris Chiappinelli’s blog post, Attacking the Manufacturing Workforce Issue, highlights workforce planning examples at two companies. He notes Lockheed Martin estimates they will lose more than 4,000 scientists and engineers annually. So the company engages K-12 students to peak their interest in manufaturing. In a separate video interview, Lockheed’s Mike Packer notes we need to rebrand manufacturing as an attractive career. At the community college-level, Kohler Company collaborates on curricula to develop “manufacturing-ready graduates.”

These examples reminded me of discussions at PLM Connection following Bill Boswell “Crisis in Manufacturing” keynote presentation. Bill highlighted three issues that have created a perfect storm in our industry:

  1. A global aging workforce

  2. Increased product complexity

  3. Education gap

For those of you who missed it, you really need to listen to this wakeup call:
Bill Boswell Presents on the Crisis in Manufacturing

Bill Boswell on the Crisis in Manufacturing

Bill challenged attendees to engage and encourage the next generation of engineering and manufacturing in at least one of these ways:

  • Partner with us and a local community college. The community college white paper I’ve blogged about before provides a blueprint.

  • Partner with us to create industry-specific design competitions. There are many good automotive contests but less in other industries.

  • Get involved with your local K-12 schools. There are many great programs you can help bring to a local school and encourage young adults to consider engineering.

Which of those can I sign you up for? What other ideas do you have to avert the workforce crisis in manufacturing?

– Dora

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