March 31, 2015
By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman at Sonnhalter
Last week I was reminded of how fragile life really is. I lost a friend who was only 57 and appeared to be in great health and they found him at work in his car. One really doesn’t know when your time is up.
It got me to thinking that in this world where emails are the last thing we check at night and the first thing we check in the morning might not be the most important thing in the big picture. I know I’m guilty of that as much as anyone.
Maybe we should step back on a more frequent basis and appreciate our families and friends more. Oh, by the way you, should tell them! Play hooky some afternoon and take your grandkids out to the zoo. Take your wife on a picnic.
I guess as I get older I don’t want to be remembered as the guy who had a successful career but never took the time to enjoy life. There’s got to be a better balance in life. I know this might be a little late for a New Years resolution, but I think I’m going to stop and smell more of the roses.
March 24, 2015
According to a recent article by Andy Szal on IndustrialDistribution.com, even the Federal Government has identified good paying jobs that don’t require a 4-year degree.
The agency expects those jobs to grow by 17 percent through 2022 and that prospects for qualified applicants “should be very good.”
Most of the other positions on the agency’s list worked in building maintenance or construction, including building inspectors, iron and steelworkers, electricians, pipefitters, masons and elevator installers. Many jobs receive on-the-job training or post-secondary training.
According to Jeff Owens, president of Advanced Technology Services, “the retiring baby boomer generation has a huge impact on the skilled labor shortage.” With the youngest of this generation approaching their mid-fifties and older, boomers are retiring at an average of 10,000 per day according to the Washington Post; American manufacturing is facing serious challenges. “The fact that the retiring workforces acquired their skills through high school industrial arts and company-sponsored apprentice programs that are not available to today’s youth only exacerbates the problem.”
Associations are even getting into the picture to try to help members recruit good talent. One such association is the PMPA that publishes a blog, yourcareerfacts.com, to let young people know there are viable alternatives to a 4-year degree.
As manufacturers, I think our responsibility is to get involved in our local communities with career days. Talk to guidance counselors and offer tours of your facilities and have your HR people be available to talk to students about manufacturing. We can’t sit back and wait for kids to come to us if they don’t know the opportunities exist.