The individuality of manufacturing
Each engineering recruit has a unique skill set and background. By approaching the hiring and training process with an individualized approach, you can help foster and mold future industry leaders.
I’ve been in front of a few classrooms in my time, and I can tell you the view from up there can be daunting. This is why I have so much respect for teachers; they have all the knowledge, but they have to play ringmaster every day to maintain the classroom as a place where that knowledge can be delivered. It was tough when I was in school, and it’s tougher today, especially because there’s more knowledge to deliver.
- Those who look at the assembled students and ask: “What do they need to learn?”
- Those who look at the assembled students and ask: “What do I need to teach them?”
Manufacturing has an assembly line, which is exactly the image we don’t want for education. But look what’s happened in manufacturing in the last decade: we’ve embraced the idea of single-lot manufacturing. We can bring individual cars with specific options off the same line. Each car comes from the same factory, but each car is unique. Each car is built off the same foundation, but each car reflects a singular vision.
There are many paths to manufacturing. As this year’s group of Engineering Leaders Under 40 again demonstrates, successful manufacturing workers come from a variety of backgrounds and came to this profession from many directions. It is this diversity that enriches our plants and can fuel greater achievement. If everyone thinks the same, then there’s no room for growth, for new ideas or new approaches.
We are in a fight to gain more workers to our field at a time when technology and data management are among our most important recruiting tools. We need to draw new people to our profession, and we can’t do that if we keep presenting ourselves in the same way. Manufacturing has an amazing story to tell.
Bob Vavra, content manager, Plant Engineering, CFE Media, firstname.lastname@example.org