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America Needs an Industry Skills Update

Hello, Ken Baxter here again coming to you from fabulous and sunny Las Vegas Nevada. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Recently two very smart men, Leo Reddy and Henry Moser were featured in the May 18th edition of Industry Week where they announced a much needed program that will help close the skills gap we are currently experiencing in American manufacturing. 

Leo Reddy, CEO and Founder, National Council for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM) since 1989, is likely one of our country’s leading experts on American manufacturing and supply chain logistics. NACFAM develops national policies and programs to increase the productivity of all tiers of U.S.-based manufacturing and encourages the accelerated development and deployment of advanced, information-based technologies and related workforce skills and knowledge. 

Harry Moser founded the Reshoring Initiative in 2010 to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. Prior to the starting the Initiative, he held leadership positions at GF Machining Solutions, formerly known as GF AgieCharmilles, where he began in 1985 as the company’s president and retired in 2010 as Chairman Emeritus.

You may remember from my post of May 13th, “What Happens When the China Supply Line Breaks?”my deep concern about the amount of American manufacturing that has been off-shored in the last 3 decades. Leo Reddy and Harry Moser deeply share that concern as well.

“The most profound impact of COVID-19 on American manufacturing has been to add a powerful new impetus behind the “Made in America” movement.  Building on nationalist sentiments, rising Chinese labor rates, and America’s new-found energy independence, there is now a widespread and transformational commitment to reshoring supply chains.”

What exactly is the skills gap? In a nutshell, it describes a fundamental mismatch between the skills that employers rely upon in their employees, and the skills that job seekers possess. This mismatch makes it difficult for individuals to find jobs and for employers to find appropriately trained workers.

It seems like somewhere along the way, our youth of the last few decades were convinced that every good job available required a college degree. Nothing can be further from the truth.

What has resulted is a generation of miserable young people crushed by enormous student loans for useless degrees. Now that manufacturing companies that had off-shored production returning to America, training and education has become imperative. Leo and Harry have devised a program to build on the momentum for reshoring supply chains with investment in education and training.

“The nonprofit Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) will release on June 1 a certified production technician 4.0 certification. Based on extensive research in 2019 with a select committee, MSSC has chosen nine emerging 4.0 technologies it believes will profoundly influence manufacturing and quality control processes: 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous robots, additive (3D), data analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), augmented reality, nanomanufacturing, advanced materials.”

"While all this is good news for manufacturing in America, there is a danger that the focus on “renewal” and “re-launching” will end up being catchwords for a restoration of the status quo, instead of an opportunity for much higher levels of innovation, productivity, profitability and global competitiveness."

Please take a few minutes to read the full article linked here, more and more manufacturing is returning to America – there a many high paying jobs that need to be filled. The best is yet to come!

If you would like to discuss I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or contact me directly at [email protected]

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