MFG Day 2016 itself may have passed, but there are still monthly celebrations of the American manufacturing industry going on. Our customer, the Hardinge Group in Elmira NY, held an open house on October 12th.
“We opened our doors today to participants of Manufacturing Day,” a representative said about the event on their Facebook page. “They got a sneak peek of our experience in Engineering, Automation, Robotics, and of course, our four heavy hitters – Turning, Milling, Grinding, and Workholding.”
The importance of MFG Day is to not only celebrate this industry, but to pull the younger generation in to keep American manufacturing going. “We’ll be keeping an eye on these young stewards of the Manufacturing World,” Hardinge says.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing was the industry with the highest employment in New York, where Hardinge is located, up until 1993. Manufacturing was also the dominating field providing the highest American employment rates from 1990 until the early 2000s. As of 2013, manufacturing was the provider of the most jobs only for seven States.
The Manufacturing Institute has said that 3.5 Million manufacturing job vacancies will need filling over the next decade due to previous workers retiring and a jobs surplus created due to business growth, but sadly, 2 Million jobs are expected to sit unfilled because of a serious skilled labor gap. With a lack of resources for school children these days who are interested in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering & math), it is crucial that current members of the manufacturing industry step in to fix this problem.
There are also current solutions happening right now to fill these jobs, such as the efforts of Workshops for Warriors to get military veterans into these jobs. There are also unconventional methods, such as the Wisconsin’s Workshop for the Blind, or the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program to “place inmates in a realistic work environment…and enable them to acquire marketable skills to increase their potential for successful rehabilitation and meaningful employment upon release.”
It is definitely appreciated when companies like Hardinge open their doors for the future generation to learn more about this industry. We have also seen similar efforts from our customers at Amarillo Gear Company. We hope that these efforts will help to occupy that skills gap and keep manufacturing in America.