Letters to the Editor

Cooperative program will attract new workers to manufacturing jobs Our industry needs to effectively attract more young people to plant maintenance careers. As many older maintenance professionals retire, this is imperative. Plant engineers and managers must work with local high schools and community colleges to promote this career.
By Plant Engineering Staff March 15, 2008

Cooperative program will attract new workers to manufacturing jobs

Our industry needs to effectively attract more young people to plant maintenance careers. As many older maintenance professionals retire, this is imperative.

Plant engineers and managers must work with local high schools and community colleges to promote this career. You can serve on advisory committees to establish programs and keep them up to date. You can also teach a night class.

A number of two-year community colleges and state technical-vocational schools have formal training programs with in-depth advanced topics including electronic controls, PLCs, hydraulics, flow control, process control software and mechanics. When completed, the topics mentioned above will be covered in a structured format.

Richland College in Dallas is now building a Workforce Training Center in the suburb of Garland. This is in joint effort with the Dallas County Manufacturing Association and the Garland Chamber of Commerce.

Some community colleges offer both two-year Associate’s Degree and one-year certificate programs. Many young people are only focused on four-year college degrees and high status management careers.

While engineering has often been featured in the news media, technicians who graduate from advanced two-year training programs now are commanding new attention and higher earnings. Many technicians earn as much or even more income than many four-year degreed graduates.

We must work to attract more young people to industrial technology careers to guarantee our industry will have a bright future.

Glen W. Spielbauer
Dallas

Sustainability needs a long-term view to succeed

I just got the February issue of Plant Engineering . Started down through your comment on page 7. I was doing fine with it until I got to the last sentence in the 6th paragraph. I suggest someone proof a little closer because the next to last word in that paragraph obviously was meant to be “sustainable” rather than the “stainable” that was printed. Two little letters make a whole lot of difference to the meaning.

Other than the quip, I enjoy reading your publication each month and encourage your taking on the tough issues, such as sustainability.

Sustainability depends a lot on people, and the organization that does not foster a culture of safety before beginning work cannot sustain a viable workforce in any time, not just these competitive ones.

Had we in manufacturing been smarter sooner, or even listened to the early voices for productivity, safety, sustainability, profitability, we would be ahead of the game today instead of struggling to catch up.

I am afraid big oil is going to succumb to the same forces that have done in our robust industries of the past %%MDASSML%% short-sighted leadership that basks in the glow of today’s quarterly results without setting the organization up for continual glow, no matter what the times bring. How many dot-coms have gone by the boards for much the same reason?

Tall order? Yes. Impossible? No. Can I figure out how? Not yet. Keep trying? Of course %%MDASSML%% that’s where the fun is.

Jay Gregory
Power Superintendent
Longview Fibre Paper & Packaging
Longview, WA

Editor’s note: We appreciate the sentiment and apologize for the typo, but it does go to prove that you can’t be “sustainable” without all of “US.”