How to Get Younger Generations Interested in Manufacturing
Trade and Industry Development contributing writer, Woody Hydrick’s article, “Location Trends in Metalworking,” describes how efforts are being made in the South and elsewhere to overhaul an “agriculturally oriented” education system into one focused on STEM education starting at pre-school ages.
One American manufacturing advocate, Titan Gilroy and his team, developed the TITANS of CNC Academy, a free online machinist school that serves more than 28,000 students and 1,500 teachers in 130 countries. The curriculum is simple and involves repetition so that students can gain the confidence to become experts and rise in a variety of technical skills over time.
When asked on a recent LinkedIn thread: What was it about CNC machining that made it your passion, and how do you get kids of younger generations excited about it to where they want to think about making it a career?
Titan responded: “I teach kids through the process of “Doing” from day one and empower them to CNC Machine parts with in the first few days of walking into this trade. They learn the Trade by actually making chips and build confidence through repetition, and I make pounding chips against the glass door cool and exciting. Bring a love to the game for being competitive... A thirst for them to rise to greatness!”
Other ways to develop interest from younger generations involve:
- Participation in local elementary, middle, and high school events that focus on available career options
- Facility open houses, job fairs, and in-house workshops that provide kids hands-on experiences and an up-close look of day-to-day operations
- Partnerships with local community groups and organizations that focus on leadership and success
- Relationships with national/international manufacturing associations and organizations for networking purposes
- Engaging with industry leaders and influencers to help spread the word of manufacturing
At AME, we consider ourselves to be manufacturing activists and are bullish on the state of manufacturing in the United States. We’re doing our part to grow the manufacturing sector in our local community through our apprenticeship and other employee development programs, but we know there is still more to be done in terms of gaining interest from younger generations to help close the skills gap here in the United States.
We’d like to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the manufacturing skills gap here in the U.S., and what are some of the things that manufacturers can do to help attract more of the younger generation to the trade? Comment below or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.