The real stars of manufacturing are the folks making parts every day.
The manufacturing economy in the U.S. may have picked up a bit considering a new presidential administration that has pledged to reduce regulations and reform tax law, but manufacturers are still looking for workers. The National Association of Manufacturers has gone on the record as saying that more than two million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled by 2025, a time period in which even fewer overall manufacturing jobs will be available compared to today. More than 19.5 million workers were employed in manufacturing in the 1970's; currently only 12.4 million claim the same distinction.
Manufacturers have an interest in attracting new talent to the industry. Fab shop owners and managers have said they simply want somebody with a good work ethic and some mechanical aptitude that they can shape into a worker who understands the way they conduct business. At that point, the goal becomes trying to get these parties to notice the opportunities that a career in manufacturing can offer. For some manufacturers, that means allowing “famous” personalities to be the face of the movement to improve manufacturing’s image.
Who is an appropriate face of manufacturing? While some marketing executives may hesitate to put the real folks making parts everyday on a box of cereal or the bottle of a new barbecue sauce, publishers and those with a mission to promote the manufacturing industry should not be afraid to put the friendly faces of fabricators on posters, magazines, TV programs, and web videos. You are doing the job and getting the job done.
That man with the company-logoed shirt standing next to the powder-coated driver’s compartment for a large piece of industrial equipment—he has a story to tell about the robotic cell that’s being used to knock out those fabrications in record time. That woman leaning against the modular welding table with the welder laying a bead in the background—
she wants to share her success story involving her shop and its involvement with the local vocational school. The 20-something man with a welding torch in hand, and welding helmet flipped up so you can see his face—he’s excited that he just hired his first employee in his custom fence business.
A famous face supposedly representing manufacturing might capture someone’s attention, but the stories of real manufacturers can change people’s minds about the industry. That’s why manufacturers can’t be afraid to be who they are—economic engines and entrepreneurial laboratories where skilled workers and those interested in gaining skills can find a career.
If you have a face of manufacturing story to share, please email information with a photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org, thank you.
Davis, Dan (2017). “Who is the face of manufacturing”. Retrieved http://www.thefabricator.com/blog/who-is-the-face-of-manufacturing-.