Skip to content

Reaching Out to Young People Helps to Build Interest in “Smart Manufacturing”

Advanced Manufacturing (2/15) reports that rather than continuing to “bemoan the problem” of a lack of skilled workers, “manufacturers are taking a multi-faceted approach to bridge the gap – not only for next year but also for 15 years down the road.” One part of the solution is “reaching out to children as young as nine to build excitement and get the next generation interested in smart manufacturing.”

Rockwell Automation Global STEM Ambassador Jay Flores is quoted saying, “At a young age, students are curious. They’re asking questions. They haven’t yet said, ‘I’m not a math person,’ so we want to get them before they have those doubts or they lose that passion for learning and curiosity.” Using programs such as “lego leagues,” Flores says, is “helping build our future pipeline of talent that’s coming in.” He adds, “We view it as a recruiting tool. We view the students as they’ve got both the technical and the soft skills that we’re looking for that they gain from this experience. It’s more than just the robot.” In addition, “manufacturers also are offering scholarships and apprenticeships,” while “companies are providing on-the-job training and education reimbursements to deepen and broaden their skills,” and “manufacturers are partnering with each other, with local governments and with local community colleges to get the word out that a job in manufacturing can be both exciting and financially rewarding.”