Manufacturing suffers from a horrible Public Relations (PR) problem. Over the past 20 years rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated, its checkered history of dirt and death-defying work environments treated as current fact, and its alleged move to China already proven limited.
Most manufacturing is very safe (sure a handful of exceptions exist, because some owners are irresponsible. That’s true in every industry). People continue to want “things” and “things” must be made. It’s a question of where and how. Companies are realizing that chasing cheap labor is foolish.
Most importantly, young people should know that the vast majority of manufacturing roles require intelligence, math and computer skills, and are very rewarding. Like playing video games? Try running a million dollar piece of equipment. Think coding is cool? Try writing programs to make precision parts on a 6-axis machine. Want some control over your work? Good companies expect employees to suggest how to improve the work, and then participate in implementing those ideas. Want to leave your brain at the door? Manufacturing is NOT for you.
Think it’s a male environment? This female has invested her entire career in it. There’s room for anyone with good critical thinking skills.
If you have interest in learning more, October 3, 2014 is Manufacturing Day in the United States, and is being celebrated through the end of October. Some companies are hosting open houses, others have posted videos. See what manufacturing means now!
To host or attend an event, check out www.mfgday.com. Make your future!