The growth and impact of manufacturing tomorrow depends on the next-generation leaders you are investing in today. During this episode of MakingChips, Greg Jones, Vice President of Smartforce Development at AMT, discusses how he is trying to help reduce the skills gap that exists in manufacturing. He also gives some practical ways that manufacturing leaders can join in the cause of raising up next generation leaders.
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While previous generations grew up in manufacturing and joined the family business, the future of the manufacturing workforce will not come about in the same way. Many high school graduates only consider traditional college as a post-secondary option. There are approximately 400,000 manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers. In order to reduce this gap, an educational shift must happen. Greg Jones shares how apprenticeships can help create this shift while helping students secure a solid career in manufacturing.
The Smartforce Student Summit started at IMTS in 1988 with the goal of giving students an in-depth look at the opportunities the manufacturing industry offers. It also helped to educate teachers and administrators about the importance of investing in this workforce. 30 years later, the Smartforce Student Summit is continuing to build that legacy. Greg Jones is leading Smartforce Development at AMT to help meet this significant need by exposing alternative opportunities to these students. During this episode, he shares how he is investing in education in order to help build tomorrows manufacturing workforce.
While there is change happening on a national level thanks to new legislation and an increased focus on manufacturing, real change occurs on the local level. Greg Jones shares several ways that manufacturing leaders can make an impact. He encourages advocating for STEM programs. He also suggests partnering with local school systems and volunteering in technology programs. This face-to-face interaction can help change the trajectory of a child’s life and could unlock the potential of a next generation leader in manufacturing. Greg also encourages manufacturers to bring a student to IMTS to enjoy the Smartforce student summit.
There have been many news stories suggesting that new technology and robots could reduce the number of job opportunities in the manufacturing industry. Greg Jones says instead that automation is actually creating jobs. IMTS and the Smartforce Student Summit are designed to share those opportunities with next-generation leaders. Students from over 40 states will be exposed to apprentice competitions where high school and college students will show in a tangible way what a career in manufacturing could look like. Listen to MakingChips to hear the entire conversation with Greg Jones.