Efficient Plant January 2020 - 4

column | editorial

Time to
Attack the
Skills Gap
Gary L. Parr
Editorial Director

Turn to p. 8 to learn about
three elements that can
help you form a strategy
for filling your skills gap.

4

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

F

ILLING THE SKILLS gap is,
arguably, the most important
issue facing today's manufacturing operations for two reasons-
it's an immediate problem and it's
not going to be solved anytime soon.
Its long- and short-term impact on
manufacturing growth/success is why
we're starting this decade with some
solutions for tackling the issue.
On p. 8, Rockwell Automation's
Brian Fortney and Mary Burgoon
urge you to take action and to do so
by developing a multi-faceted strategy
that will help you understand your
risks and establish tactics to address
them. They suggest that you base your
strategy on three elements: engage and
re-educate, use a training mixture that
helps you retain tribal knowledge and
expand the skillsets of younger workers, and develop industry partnerships
to help you fill needs on a short-term
or as-needed basis. If getting started is
your current biggest hurdle, Fortney
and Burgoon will help you.
On p. 11, Emerson's Mike Brouse
looks at forming partnerships with
educational institutions and how
those collaborative efforts are the best
way to shape academic programs and
create apprenticeships that meet the
needs of students and manufacturers.
In his view, it's these partnerships that
will develop the "new collar" workers
that are desperately needed now and
will be in demand for the foreseeable
future.
On p. 15, Accruent's Andrew Ruse
focuses on robotics and automated
systems and the mechatronics technicians who are needed to develop and
maintain these systems. While mecha-

tronics technician may not be a skillset that is familiar to you, it's these
workers and their ability to apply multiple skills across multiple crafts who
are going to play a significant role in
our automated factories. The skillset
is considered to be important enough
that a healthy list of technical and
four-year educational institutions are
offering programs. They may already
be filling your skills gap for you.
Our coverage of this important
area doesn't stop with this issue. We
are also establishing a new Workforce
Strategies column (p. 32) to make
sure that solutions to this problem
are being presented each month. The
column will be written by representatives from Uponor North America,
a manufacturer that has had notable
success in the Minneapolis area using
many of the approaches discussed in
our three feature articles. We look forward to learning more from Uponor
in upcoming issues.
I also suggest that you sign up for
our newest webinar, to be held January
30 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The webinar,
"Develop Skilled Workers with
In-House Programs," will be presented by Jon Sillerud, Vice President of Operations at Uponor North
America. Visit efficientplantmag.
com/2001uponorwebinar to register
so you can learn ways to advance your
current employees.
This skills-gap problem is not going
away and it's affecting everyone,
regardless of company size or industry. Now is the time to address the
issue so you won't be left wanting in
the future. EP
gparr@efficientplantmag.com

JANUARY 2020


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

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
Efficient Plant January 2020 - 1
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