Workforce initiatives with promising and proven results
Keeping up with training and finding the right workforce can be frustrating, especially when multiple areas of a company may need attention. Although it may not seem to be the most pressing matter, a solid workforce is the strongest foundational element to the rest of production. It cannot be pushed to the back burner. Taking strategic action will be a smart use of your extra resources. Do not exhaust yourself, choose wisely and look at programs which are either promising positive results or have already achieved them. These three states have initiatives that have successfully generated interest in manufacturing, increased skilled workforce output, or provide the tools to adapt to shifts in production.
Manufacturing is Nebraska’s second biggest industry. With the manufacturing being so prevalent, manufacturers are concerned about battling the skills gap and continuing to flourish. Two years ago, Governor Pete Ricketts launched the Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) to target the skills gap through public-private partnerships. The program connects young students to careers in manufacturing and technology. Aimed at 7th and 8th grade students, this program exposes them to manufacturing at a young age and inspires the possibility of a career in the field.
Industrial educational and business institutions have experienced positive results from the program. Schools have seen enrollment increases of 16% in Skills and Technical Sciences classes for those who have participated. Distefano Technology & Manufacturing showed students their mobile manufacturing trailer in the hopes of gaining interest. What was originated as little over 50% interest turned into 100% interest after touring the trailer. Nebraska’s DYTI program makes a difference, and programs like this in other states can too.
While textiles are disappearing, areas such as aerospace and automotive are on the rise. Although manufacturing as a whole is seeing the digital shift, these two sectors in particular lead the way in cutting-edge adoption. The factory of “the future” is the factory of today. It’s fast, safe, and efficient. Siemens has donated $628 million of a technology grant to the University of South Carolina, its College of Engineering and Computing, and the McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research to keep up with these changes.
In the next 20 years, a demand for 35,000 commercial aircrafts is expected. To meet the production needs, the partnership will generate student interest. The grant will provide industrial software and hardware to students and faculty to facilitate hands-on experience with design and engineering platforms used by the biggest manufacturers in the world. This partnership is necessary to not only expose students to what is already happening, but also to prepare them for the industry evolution in the upcoming years.
The Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant in Virginia is working towards both training and attracting new talent. The hiring process at the plant is difficult, with only about one applicant being offered a job out of over one hundred. To engage its workforce, the company is implementing steps towards advancement. From biweekly assessments, to cross-training in other areas of the shop, ladders of employee advancement, and close partnerships with educational institutions, Rolls-Royce is strengthening its talent pool.
Danville Community College (DCC) is one of the educational institutions with which Rolls-Royce partners. The school provides programs that enable high school students to earn a machining degree in one year, currently with a 99% pass rate. Additionally, DCC offers a two-year Precision Machining Technology program aligned to NIMS level II standard, a Dimensional Inspection metrology program, a Integrated Machining Technology “capstone” program, and more. The school’s excellent programs are now happily seeing a lot of potential partnerships, almost too many to choose from. Initiatives that anticipate and encourage learning for the future could very well see the same demand.