Posted By ML Admin, May 01, 2012 at 11:39 AM, in Category: Industrial Policy
Carlos Cardoso, Chairman, President, and CEO of Kennametal took the stage at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit to talk about building a skilled workforce for the future of manufacturing. The company is proactively partnering with educational institutions, starting at the middle school level, in order to have more influence on engaging these developing young minds in math and science.
However, when they first entered the classroom the realization hit home--- it is not just a math and science deficiency for this age group, the bigger issue is that these kids would never consider manufacturing as a career path mainly because it is not being offered to them as an opportunity by their teachers and parents.
As a result, beyond just entering the classroom with examples of how manufacturing can make a difference, Kennametal is bringing high school teens into their facilities for a 15 week “Young Engineers” program which matches them with engineering and manufacturing mentors and gives them the chance to work on real world projects. They also bring parents in for an open house to show them that their image of the factory floor as a dirty and dangerous place is all wrong. Production facilities are clean, safe, and sophisticated as there is not one process that doesn’t require a computer or smart device.
Cardoso stressed that building a competitive manufacturing business for the future does not just require a skilled workforce, but companies need to “partner smart” with customers, the community, and the government in order to spread the good news about the viability of this industry. People don’t necessarily know that U.S. manufacturing produces $1.6 trillion of value each year, producing 21% of manufactured products globally.
The biggest challenge going forward is to change the public perception of the industry. That means really getting involved. Cardoso’s closing remarks: “Manufacturers have stood on the sidelines for way too long. We need to get in the game.”
Are you in the game?
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