“There is a huge misconception that manufacturing is like what it was when I was growing up – old dirty plants, and long work hours, like during the Industrial Revolution.”
-Paul Lynskey, executive director of the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation
The Blackstone Valley has a rich history in American manufacturing, being the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. Today there are a slew of manufacturing companies in need of qualified employees for its workforce. The state’s vocational schools help to funnel people through the workforce pipeline. Many of these educational institutions have long wait lists and an increasing number of students heading off to four-year colleges. Despite its deep connection to manufacturing, parents still struggle to se manufacturing as a viable career for their children. When Baby Boomers and Generation Xers hear “manufacturing,” their minds flash to a large, dirty, noisy factory where they or someone they know may have worked.
“When you walk into one of the manufacturers I’m dealing with now, they’re spotless, with advanced technology. They offer very good paying positions, with multiple career options within them,” says Lynskey.
Schools, businesses, and government are banding together to help push students forward. Partnerships are forming, the sights have been set on recruiting young, early success is encouraged, and the educational pathway is getting revamped. Blackstone Valley is taking action and it might be something for others to watch.News, Workforce / Skills Gap