Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skilled Workers in Short Supply

TABLE 1. Graduates From University Departments Which Offer Programs In Industrial Arts/Technology Education. (From "Enrollment Trends in Industrial Arts/Technology Teacher Education From 1970-1990", Journal of Technology Education, Spring 1993)

Recovering businesses finding a dearth of skilled workers. (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/3/2012)

Excerpt: [Former Bucyrus president and CEO Tim]Sullivan traced the shortage to the 1980s, when he said high schools shifted their emphasis almost exclusively to college prep. Students still can graduate from high school and get the extra training they need for a manufacturing job at a two-year technical college, he acknowledged. But too many drop out of high school without exposure to technical coursework or other experiences that could point them toward a manufacturing career.

"We changed the whole system and we lost the pipeline of individuals willing to get involved in skilled jobs," Sullivan said.

At the same time, the nature of modern manufacturing operations — which are much cleaner, more automated, computer-guided and precise than they were decades ago — is driving the need for welders and machine operators with better math, reading and technical skills, like reading blueprints. "

It's not somebody standing on an assembly line just bolting together (metal pieces) anymore," Jagdfeld said.

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