Where Shops Get Skilled Workers

Most in the industry agree that the skills gap is a real issue and are interested in finding effective solutions. Here’s a shop that meets personnel needs with an in-house apprenticeship program.

It’s a topic we touch on often, mainly because we hear about it regularly in the companies we visit. Many shops have a hard time finding personnel who are adequately skilled to satisfy the production needs. Worse yet, finding people who are even interested in learning the required skills can be difficult.

Most in the industry agree that the skills gap is a real issue and are interested in finding effective solutions. Organizations such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and ToolingU have been assembled for the specific purpose of helping to develop a globally competitive American workforce. Companies frequently contribute to the effort by donating time and equipment to vocational schools and other institutions that are working to train the next generation of shopfloor personnel. Many companies take much of the training burden upon themselves, quickly getting new employees up to speed through hands-on experience in specific customer applications and other quality control duties.

One such company, a Swiss shop near Chicago, is experiencing rapid growth and is having great success filling its shop positions by conducting a busy apprenticeship program that cycles a steady stream of potential new employees through while contributing to the production process.

Read “A Swiss Shop’s Next Generation” for more detail about the early stages of this program and how it has contributed to the company’s steady growth.

Editor Pick

A Swiss Shop’s Next Generation

The shallow talent pool of available skilled machinists can be an even bigger obstacle to the shop that is rapidly growing. Perhaps the best solution is to attack the problem from within.