Industry today is in a crisis that is real, but rarely spoken. Manufacturers are struggling with replacing its employees that are retiring.
There are several factors that come into play when looking into this subject from a manufacturer’s perspective. Approximately 25% of the workforce in manufacturing today is over 55. These Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and they are walking out the door with their 20-30 years’ worth of experience and knowledge. The crux is that there is no one who is filling in that position behind them because of 3 primary reasons:
- There is a perception that Manufacturing is dark, dirty, and dangerous.
- Students coming out of college with advance degrees are more excited to work for tech giants like Google, Facebook or Apple, because of the perception that Manufacturing is not tech savvy.
- There is a geographical mismatch in expectations. A lot of young workers do not want to work in places that are not close to urban centers.
So how can industry tackle the industrial skills gap head on? Former military personnel.
Rockwell Automation is leading the way with their industry agnostic Academy of Advanced Manufacturing. This program is geared specifically towards former military personnel to redeploy their highly technical skillset towards industry.
Many in the military performs roles that require a high level of skill and competency in a technically challenging position. This requires years of training to become proficient, and the government does a great job of preparation to have them spring into action immediately and perform well under pressure. The challenge has been as they leave the military, it may not be clear to them what they can do with these great skills. That’s where the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing plays a key role in helping them transfer those skills to be used into manufacturing.
With two state of the art facilities located in Rockwell Milwaukee and Cleveland, the Academy is a 12 week program with a 40% instructor led 60% hands on lab experience that exposes them to the foundational elements that is all in most manufacturing facilities: around the infrastructure of automation and controls, PLCs, networks, HMIs, drives, and instrumentation.
To learn more, check out our Podcast series of Military to Manufacturing, where we interview Mary Burgoon, who is the Business Development Manager at the academy, as well as recent graduates.