Efficient Plant January 2020 - 11

feature | workforce development

Technical-training
programs are key
to developing
new-collar workers needed to fill
the skills gap.

Manufacturer
partnerships
with educational
institutions provide
one pathway to
developing the skilled
workers needed today.

Mike Brouse
Emerson

Collaboration Develops

New Collar Workers

TODAY'S EMPHASIS ON obtaining a
four-year degree has caused many students
to ignore vocational training as a path to a
rewarding career. Combined with a lingering stigma around blue-collar careers, it's
not difficult to see why we are experiencing
a significant gap between trained workers
and manufacturing jobs.
But that may not be the whole story.
In the post-World War II years, the
United States built an impressive manufacturing infrastructure and took the global

JANUARY 2020

lead in production of goods and materials.
Globalization changed the game by opening
new markets and opportunities for lowcost production. It also set the stage for the
widespread outsourcing we've experienced
in recent decades. Though outsourcing
initially created a boon for manufacturing,
it meant layoffs for U.S. workers.
The financial crisis of 2008 caused more
layoffs and helped cement the impression
that manufacturing was a dead-end option
for jobseekers. Students turned away from

manufacturing careers without realizing
that the industry as a whole was undergoing
some major changes.
Technological advances have made
today's manufacturing production floor
considerably more high-tech than before,
requiring highly skilled workers who know
how to use the technology safely and effectively. By the time workers who had been
laid off in 2008 tried to come back to their
manufacturing jobs, the parameters had
changed, requiring retraining in digitalEFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

11


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Efficient Plant January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant January 2020

Efficient Plant January 2020 - 1
Efficient Plant January 2020 - Cover1
Efficient Plant January 2020 - Cover2
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Efficient Plant January 2020 - Cover3
Efficient Plant January 2020 - Cover4
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