You are currently viewing Bridging the Skills Gap Through Education

Bridging the Skills Gap Through Education

Hello again, Ken Baxter here in sunny Las Vegas, NV and thanks for stopping by.

If you have been following me on any of my social media you know of my passion to help bring more manufacturing back to America and helping to bridge the “skills gap” that is preventing a more robust return to our country.

What is the skills gap? Briefly, it is the divide between the specialized skills that are needed by manufacturers and the actual skills of those who are looking for a job. In fact, a recent Deloitte report drives home the extent of the problem in the context of manufacturing alone: “The skills gap may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion.” As this situation grows more and more critical, Linda and I realized that not only does the curriculum need to be adjusted in our schools, we also need cooperation from political and business leaders as well.

COVID Could Not Stop Us

Technology continues to advance exponentially in areas of industrial automation, robotics, artificial intelligence etc., making CPT and CPT+ Certification, recommended by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) , a must have credential for those high paying, manufacturing careers today.  

In the fall of 2019 the Linda and I were proud to donate funds to the Engineering and Technology Dept. of the College of Southern Nevada to purchase an amazing machine called a Skill Boss. We were excited to learn our formal presentation was scheduled for April, 2020.

So, what is a Skill Boss? Glad you asked!

The Skill Boss Manufacturing assessment system is a table top machine designed to assess over 60 performance based, industry-relevant skills in the following areas including:

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Production Processes
  • Maintenance Awareness

Also included in the multimedia curriculum are essential soft skills such as communications, teamwork, customer awareness and workplace conduct. The video below shows the Skill Boss Manufacturer in action!

In the fall of 2019 the Linda and I, as part of the Ken and Linda Baxter Foundation, were proud to donate funds to the Engineering and Technology Dept. of the College of Southern Nevada to purchase this amazing machine. We were excited to attend the formal presentation scheduled for April, 2020.

By April of 2020 the country was right in the middle of “14 days to stop the spread” which turned into an entire year. 

Linda and I were thrilled to make our formal presentation nearly one year later on March 9, 2021 and get some hands on time with this impressive tool. 

You may be wondering how we got to this critical point with the skills gap. As baby boomers exit the work force, there are not enough workers entering manufacturing to fill the gaps left by retirees.   These retiring workers are often highly skilled, with years of experience and it is difficult to find replacements with a similar level of knowledge and expertise. 

For years, manufacturing has been presented as an undesirable field with schools favoring  more socially focused education. This has resulted in a generation of students with expensive, and useless degrees, unable to find work, heavily in debt and the pipeline of new manufacturing workers virtually empty.  The manufacturing industry looks nothing like it did 40 years ago, with the introduction of more and more newly-developed technologies it is a profession of technically-minded, innovative and talented technicians with high paying careers.  Linda and I hope this donation will accelerate the amount of CPT certifications from the College of Southern Nevada and challenge other business leaders to get involved as well.

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


Leave a Reply