Technical Workers are Knowledge Workers

June 10, 2014

The majority of the demand for skilled workforce in industry is in this area  of engineering and production technology requiring some post high school  education or credential, but less than 4-year bachelors degree education.

University of Toledo Engineering Department has a great graphic that shows where various jobs fit on the “knowledge worker” spectrum based on need for mathematical skills. We have added some additional thinking about “where the jobs are- and what they demand.”

Technical Workers copy

The  occupations on the right side of the diagram demand less mathematics in daily work. Distribution and sales would require counts and arithmetic to balance quantities and sales orders and payment.

  • Operations, Service and Maintenance positions  would typically use numbers to look up and specify parts, measurements for fits, and evaluate process inputs and outputs.
  • Production positions would use gages and hand held measuring instruments as well as data from sensors to determine conformance to tolerances and to plot statistical control charts.
  • Senior manufacturing positions would take this a step further to determine offsets and “true positions.”
  • Testing and evaluation and quality control works almost exclusively with numeric data and uses Coordinate measuring machines, Optical comparators, and gage blocks to determine conformance to print and capability of process.

The far right of dark blue portion of the diagram corresponds to high school math including algebra; more to the left the positions demand ability to use geometry and trigonometry. The production and manufacturing portions are typically best fit for persons with a one year credential such as a CNC operator certificate, various NIMS credentials, or 2-year associate degrees in various technology fields.

The  left most portion of  the light blue portion is the realm of 4 year degree engineers and technologists and specialists ((Mechanical Engineers, Metallurgists, Tooling Engineers, Chemists)

The white area on the left typically are positions filled by Master’s and Ph.D level grads.

The majority of job openings in advanced manufacturing today require some post high school skilled training, but do not require a 4 year degree.

Technical workers are knowledge workers.

And they are in high demand.

University of Toledo Engineering

 


Where The Jobs Are- Mark Tomlinson in Huffington Post

April 5, 2013

The manufacturing industry is facing an employment crisis. The rate of technical advances has outpaced our ability to educate and train workers on new machines and applications, creating a “skills gap.”Mark Tomlinson, CEO, Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Skilled machinists positions continue to be open in our industry.

Skilled machinists positions continue to be open in our industry.

I thought it was interesting that even during the depths of the last recession, the classified ads in the major newspapers still showed opportunities for setup and machinists in our precision machining sector of advanced manufacturing. It’s still true today. We have visited local community colleges  around the country that provide machining training and we hear the same story, after the first semester, “most of our students already have found a job or have one promised upon graduation.”

Here’s more from Mark-

“This is a great time to work in manufacturing. We’re applying once pie-in-the-sky technologies to real-world needs: creating strong yet flexible limb replacements for our wounded warriors, robots that crawl into the fuselage of an aircraft, mountain bikes for extreme enthusiasts, engineered for safety pushing the boundaries of men and machine. It’s stuff that captures the imagination.

“Yet students are not pursuing these jobs despite the cool factor. Some of it is institutional and some of it is perception. A major challenge is there is no academic infrastructure to administer STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum on a national scale. That’s compounded by a lack interest in STEM by educators, parents and students who may be more inclined toward attending a four-year college.”

We need to help change the perception of manufacturing and skilled trades.  In educators, parents, and students.

We need to help change the notion that going heavily into debt for a bachelors degree without a plan for return on investment (ROI)is the weay fofr our sons and daughters to get their start in life.

We need to show parents, students, counselors, teachers, our communities, the “existential joys of manufacturing”- the cool stuff we make, the high tech machines we use to make it, and the broad math, science, problemsolving intellectual skill set that we bring to our work.

That our skilled machinists are worthy of the highest respect.

Mark Tomlinson told the Huffington Post “We know where the jobs are.”

Indeed.

If you would like to investigate a career in advanced manufacturing / precision machining- we’ve prepared a a database to help you access training resources wherever you are. PMPA Career Info Database.

For more info you can also  search on “Manufacturing,” “Skills,” or “Career” in this blog’s search box in the upper right corner.

Or go to PMPA website Careers section.

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