BERT MAES

The Future of CNC Manufacturing Education – CNC Manufacturing, Education Reform & Change Management News.

What parents should know about manufacturing

Posted by Bert Maes on March 8, 2010


Post by Mike Gugger, Manager, Consulting Services

I hear it every day and from almost every client I visit – “I can’t find good talent.

I’ve got three responses to this complaint:

  • first, its our fault;
  • second, “baby boomers” strike again;
  • and finally, there are sources for these skills.

Let’s start with “It’s our fault.”

Most of the young people I speak with have no idea that there are highly technical, good paying, career opportunities in machining and manufacturing.

Almost all of the parents of those kids tell me that they don’t want their kids to go into machining, to which I ask, “Why not?” and I get a I get a variety of answers ranging from, “it’s dirty and hard work” to “there are no jobs in manufacturing, they are all going overseas” to “I don’t know anything about machining. What kind of jobs are there?” to my personal favorite, “I don’t want my kid doing what I had to do – I want him to go to college!

So you see it is our fault.  As parents, we are misinformed, uninformed or have a severe bias and misunderstanding of the potential in the industry.

  • When I hear, “It’s dirty and hard work,” that tells me that this person has not been in a factory for over twenty years or more. Machining and manufacturing are no longer the dimly lit, dirt floor, Draconian hell hole of the past. In fact, machining has more computer content then almost any other industry, has more of a lab environment then a factory and the jobs are well-paying, career positions (as opposed to just a job).
    Related post: an example of the current Third Industrial Revolution in manufacturing
    -
  • Lastly, but certainly not least, is the “I want my kid to go to college” excuse.    That’s a fine dream, but does your kid want to go to college? Do his/her interests and future aspirations depend on a college education? The current statistics are sobering.  Over two-thirds of college students don’t finish a four-year degree in four years and if you extend it to six years, the percentage improves only moderately – to 58%! Would it not be better for these students to attain some work experience – i.e. seasoning as an individual – that provides marketable skills and financial security from which can blossom into a wide array of opportunities in the future?  “No!  My kid’s going to college!”  For what, to fail?
    -

So you see, it is our fault and I have a challenge to all parents – learn, educate yourself and your children in the career opportunities that exist in today’s manufacturing.

An eye opening post – Thanks, Mike!

The coming week he will be posting about the effect baby boomers are having on manufacturing. Looking forward to that!
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>> I discussed the importance of parents (and especially the mothers) very briefly with blogger Ryan Pohl (Change The Perception). He said:

Mothers do have a great deal of influence over their children, especially in their early formative years. I have three young children myself, and my wife in constantly encouraging them to build and create using their imaginations, as opposed to conquering the latest level on a video game! We can already notice the difference in cognitive abilities, and creative abilities between our children and their peers who have less time to be creative.

My children can choose whatever path they desire for life, but hopefully with this approach they will always value making THINGS!

As parents, we always try to do the very best for our kids and provide opportunities that will help them mature into intelligent, capable adults. Innovative thinking and nurturing our creative spirits is essential for success in school and in life. So it is our job as parents to nurture our kids’ creativity.

And what is better to accomplish that than encouraging our kids to MAKE (i.e. manufacture) THINGS?

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5 Responses to “What parents should know about manufacturing”

  1. [...] Go here to read the rest: What parents should know about manufacturing « BERT MAES [...]

  2. [...] What parents should know about manufacturing « BERT MAES [...]

  3. Bert,

    thanks for the re-post. I agree it is critical to get the word out there. Interesting what your company said. On the one hand it sounds like typical corporatespeak – on the other hand it at least seems like they get it. Another brief story to prove my point. Two kids (under 20) walking with a shovel on thier shoulders after the last snow storm. “Want some help shoveling?”, “Sure.” I said. In conversation with them one was sleepwalking though his Sr. year of HS the other was out but “just [had] a job.” I asked them what they wanted to do. “Something with Computers.” So I go into my pitch about mfg. being the third highest computer content industry behnd animation and vidgameing. “Really?!” Proof we have a lot of work to do. On the other hand I presented a potential in mfg. presentation to a VocTech HS class of Mfg Tech kids and they loved it. I myself worked as a machinist for 10yrs before returning to “Univeristy” and these kids were ahead of me in what they understood about machining. The world is thier oyster. Look for the “Boomer” blog – and thanks again.
    MD
    G

  4. [...] What parents should know about manufacturing « BERT MAES [...]

  5. [...] Equipping thousands of teachers and careers advisers with the knowledge and confidence to communicate and illustrating the excitement and relevance of engineering. We should help them to understand the many different and rewarding career paths aspiring engineers can follow, so they can inspire in the children a passion for the subject. Young are innately curious about how and why things work. We must capitalize on this. We must feed their creativity. [...]

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