We recently had the pleasure of attending a local meeting that was hosted by our regional work force alliance and the NTMA. ( National Toolmakers Association) The primary focus was an in-depth presentation about trying to find, fill and keep talented people in the machining, mold making and tool and die business. For years, the US has been losing jobs to Asia and it’s been increasingly hard if not impossible to find trained professionals. The NTMA took a grass roots look at apprenticeship training across the US and have come up with a plan and program to train and certify pre-qualified people through our local colleges. One of the uphill battles that has faced our industry over the last 20 years is that this industry had a reputation that it was a ‘dirty’ job. That is not the case anymore.
The idea is to get the word out to local high schools that there are plenty of options/careers available if one does not want to go to college straight out of high school. There are good paying jobs in the machining industry. We want the kids that love to play with computers and programming. We want the kids that like to build things. Today’s machine shop is much different that it was in the 70’s and 80’s. Running a piece of equipment that has a price tag between $50,000 and $750,000 requires a person that knows how to program from 3D models and use 21st century skills that new generations possess and have generated demand for.
The new apprenticeship training model works off of NIMS based skills training and not the traditional 8000 hours that the previous state regulated model had in place. With the economy we currently operate in and the currency problems that China has created we are seeing more companies with a ‘buy USA’ attitude. The problem is too much work and not enough qualified and trained people. With this training program in place we can put qualified people that want to learn a trade to work. Neu Dynamics is planning on training at least 2-3 people over the next 3 years to reinforce our work force. We will work closely with the NTMA and our local manufacturing alliance. We will be attending a show called “manufest” at our local Hatboro-Horsham meeting on March 19th where we expect to attract as many as 500 students and parents from local high schools so they can view what we do.
Here is a video of John Shegda, local chapter president of the NTMA discussing these apprenticeships: