Developing A Multi-Skilled Workforce: Doing More With Less

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 2:02pm
Terri Szymczak, Regional Leader, Training Services, Rockwell Automation

What if you learned funding for capital equipment required to keep your plant running in coming years was soon going to be extremely hard to find? Would you hit the panic button? The situation manufacturers are facing when it comes to their most critical asset – people – is nearly as dire.

According to a study conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, currently five percent of jobs classified as manufacturing by the U.S. government are left unfilled. Seasoned employees are retiring in droves, taking with them decades of invaluable experience. These departures are making knowledge transfer an increasingly rare commodity. This exodus of experience is colliding with an ever-quickening pace of technological advancement on the plant floor. New employees are expected to understand more complex equipment that’s constantly evolving.

There’s a major problem looming. Unfortunately, most manufacturers aren’t taking the proactive steps that will be required to effectively address the knowledge and skills gaps in their facilities before they cause tangible damage to the bottom line. In order to fill mission-critical roles, manufacturers need to think about training more strategically than they have in the past.

Craft skills training is one option that can help close workforce knowledge gaps on topics such as electrical troubleshooting, motor theory, digital circuits, analytical measurement, basic mathematics and more. This type of program helps create a workforce with a stronger, more diverse skill set by covering and developing core competencies, fundamentals and equipment-specific skills across all mechanical, electrical and maintenance disciplines.


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