I am consistently surprised by the wide range of opportunities that exist within the manufacturing industry. This industry is complex and ever changing as talented individuals within the engineering field work to create technological advances to increase safety, decrease time to the market, and replace repetitive processes with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. This innovation requires new talent to be trained to manage the CNC machines and quality assurance measurements. I highlight this change as there are new career pathways being created that require young people to play an important role in manufacturing using computer skills, attention to detail and critical thinking.
Always on the search for career pathways that provide multiple entry points for both college and career bound young adults, I am committed to researching industries that provide a living wage, benefits, and a variety of pathways with additional education or training. The manufacturing industry fulfills these benchmarks. One of the important components of my research is to understand the different work cultures and employers providing employees with opportunities for career growth. There is tremendous value in attending information sessions, meeting with industry leaders, and attending site inspections. Each meeting affords me the opportunity to observe first-hand the work culture, speak with individuals within the manufacturing plant and to have my many questions answered.
I have had the opportunity to tour different types of manufacturing plants. I joined the South Shore Manufacturing Advisory Board and attend meetings to gain insight into this complex industry. Significant national and state funding has been dedicated to promoting manufacturing career pathways to increase recruitment and retention of entry level talent. Since the COVID19 pandemic began, manufacturing has been highlighted for the lifesaving role it has played in the production of personal protective equipment. Also repeatedly noted is the impact that delays due to a lack of experienced workers has had on production. Manufacturers report having to turn away work because of hiring challenges. One business owner recently commented that he would hire attitude over talent any day. To elaborate further, a good work ethic, communication skills and the willingness to learn are what employers are looking for in new hires. This is great news for young people starting out in their careers. With so many manufacturers searching for talent, there are many opportunities to consider.