The Skills Gap Isn't The Only Workforce Challenge

Posted by Simone Erskine on Nov 7, 2018 11:25:15 AM

Written by Andrea Belk Olson, MSC and CEO of Pragmadik
https://www.linkedin.com/in/olsonandrea1/

We talk extensively about the “skills gap” facing manufacturing. The problem is this only partially true. Yes, there's a deficit in our skilled trades pipeline, and as employers, educators, and communities, we need to rally around the value of skilled trades, and support the growth of this critical workforce - starting in junior high and beyond. Yet, there's another gap that mid-market manufacturing is facing - The Strategic Gap - and it has many facets.
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Retaining Talent and Building "A Great Place to Work"

Posted by Stephen Schiera on May 25, 2018 2:41:13 PM

Using the Stay Interview for Retention and Culture Development

As companies are fighting for talent in a tight labor market there is a need for them to look at how they are retaining their best people and developing a culture that others want to join.  Too many times managers are focused on the negative aspects of managing people and do not take the time to develop the talent that's right in front of them. 

Today, departing employees are asked their opinions and experiences on their way out the door. These “exit” interviews can reveal some information about why people are leaving, however, the interviews are typically guarded and are certainly too late to affect retention. Instead, the "stay" interview is targeted at retention, exactly as its name implies. These simple conversations take the pulse of employees' current experiences, attitudes and opinions in a more routine cadence, enabling leadership to implement improvements before they have lost a valuable asset. 

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Capturing Employee Tribal Knowledge - Before It's Too Late

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 4, 2018 10:35:00 AM

By 2025, nearly 25 percent of the United States population is expected to be 60 years of age or older. With this demographic preparing to exit the workforce and enter retirement, what can be done to retain their knowledge and pass it down to the next generation of employees? After all, a good portion of the knowledge that our “employee elders” possess is not written down or stored within a computer—it’s stored in their head. And this is especially true within the manufacturing sector.

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Affecting perception: 8 ways to advance the image of manufacturing

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Oct 5, 2017 10:45:19 AM

A positive perception of manufacturing is critical for the future success of an organization's talent recruitment, development, and overall industry advancement. Craig Giffi and Michelle Drew Rodriguez, manufacturing experts from Deloitte, share the latest on advancing the image of manufacturing in celebration of MFG Day in America.

American public perception of manufacturing, and where Americans see the manufacturing sector is headed, is optimistic. That’s according to a recent study conducted by Deloitte, the National Association of Manufacturers, and The Manufacturing Institute.[i]

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Bringing Diversity to Manufacturing

Posted by Melissa Basa on Sep 21, 2017 3:04:16 PM

Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager

With more than 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States in recent years, much has been hypothesized and written about the cause(s). If we consider the words of Warren Buffet, who in 2013 told Fortune Magazine that America has built our prosperity using only 50% of our talent and left an entire gender out of the equation for most of our history, we see that a solution is very much within our reach.  But balancing the gender equation and bringing more women into manufacturing doesn’t require the same approach as increasing the ranks of men.  Let’s look at an example (or three) from my Alma Mater.

In 2016, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering was the first US national research university to graduate an undergraduate class of engineers that was more than 50% female.  Compare this to the national average that has yet to break 20%.  But gender parity didn’t happen for Thayer overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without intentional cultural changes.  I believe Thayer’s successes could be those of America’s shop floors as well.

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Training for Success As We Face the Maintenance Skills Gap

Posted by Marketing Support on Aug 29, 2017 8:24:53 AM

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

A large amount of industrial maintenance technicians are approaching retirement age – taking with them invaluable knowledge and experience. Today’s workforce entrants often have high school level vocational training and apprenticeship programs are nearly non-existent. All too often, employers try to fill this void with computer-based learning that focuses merely on craft skills. But hands-on practice is required to develop hands-on skills. Additionally, tradespeople need to understand more than basic craft skills; they need to be expert problem solvers with process knowledge specific to their companies. How do employers close the skills gap?

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Linguistic and Cultural Barriers in Manufacturing: Understanding the Language of the Workforce

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Feb 7, 2017 9:42:40 AM

Written by Emilia Linardakis, Managing Partner - Language Advisors Network Group

Manufacturing is one of the most lucrative industries in the U.S. and there are about 251,857 manufacturing firms currently in the United States. Due to migration patterns, language and cultural diversity are becoming a theme in the majority of the workplaces. The manufacturing industry is one of the most diversified sectors of economy with a vast number of immigrant workers. 12% or 23.8 million immigrants work in the manufacturing industry. These workers have either no knowledge or very limited proficiency in English. The number of non-English speakers in the US has grown considerably in the last few years due to the influx of immigration levels that continue to increase drastically based on the Census Bureau. Foreign-born workforce is becoming a vital part of the US economy, especially in the manufacturing sector. National Census data shows that there are nearly 64.7 million U.S. residents who speak a language other than English at home; that makes about 21.5% of the total U.S. population. Approximately 46% of immigrant workers are considered limited English proficiency (LEP). Over the last two decades the types of jobs available for workers with limited English proficiency have changed. Many U.S. manufacturing jobs that used to be performed from LEP employees have now been outsourced.

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Creating a Bridge for Customized Technician Training

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Jan 24, 2017 11:16:23 AM

Skills for the future of automation

Creating a skilled workforce for the needs of automation today and in the future is vital for the competitive future of Illinois. That’s why IMEC recently partnered with ISA (International Society of Automation) to deliver a five day course for participants in Decatur, Illinois. The “Technician Training Boot Camp” offered an intensive, hands-on training environment focused on industrial measurement and control technologies. Watch the video to learn more!

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How to attract more women into STEM careers

Posted by Marketing Support on Jan 7, 2016 3:15:31 PM


Getting more women into STEM careers will require a partnership among parents, educational institutions, government, industry and organizations.

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The Learning Workshop - Training & Organizational Development

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Aug 26, 2015 10:44:41 AM

IMEC partners and talent management experts, AAIM-EA are introducing a new one day seminar to showcase the best and brightest training and organizational development programs.


AAIM strives to provide high quality, relevant training programs that can enhance both you and your business. The Learning Workshop will provide you the opportunity to not only participate and learn on four topics of your choice, but it will provide insight into what else AAIM has to offer in the Training/Organizational Development arena. The programs are interesting and engaging for employees at all levels.

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