Blog posts tagged with Workforce

"What Skills Gap?": How Employee Benefits Can Help You Find the Right Talent

March 06, 2017 by MAGNET Ohio

We hear it all the time: Manufacturers can’t find machine operators, maintenance staff, frontline workers, tool-and-die makers, etc. National statistics support these claims: the cumulative skills gap in manufacturing — positions that will go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers — will grow to 2 million by 2025, according to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. What’s a growing company to do? First: relax. It’s important to remember that macro trends don’t necessarily determine micro (i.e., company-specific) results. In fact, a closer look at plant-specific data suggests that engaged leaders can find the talent they need — if they know how to attract and retain it. It turns out that many skills gaps are self-inflicted by companies that offer uncompetitive wages, limited opportunities for career growth, and unsatisfactory work conditions. For example, many plants don’t offer common employee benefits and programs, such as paid vacation days, paid medical benefits, a formal safety/health program, or paid sick and/or personal days. In fact, only 53 percent of manufacturing plants offer all four of those programs. Who wants to work at the other 47 percent?   HR Practices and Programs in Place % of plants Paid vacation days 86% Paid medical benefits

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How to Solve Your Top Workforce Challenges

February 27, 2017 by Michael O'Donnell

According to a 2014 study conducted by Oxford Economics and SAP, two-thirds of manufacturers have made only slight or moderate progress toward meeting strategic workplace goals. This is due in part to a number of obstacles, including a shortage of workers and lack of resources to help foster better employee engagement and retention. Companies in this study, which totaled around 2,700 and spanned multiple industries and regions, also noted that engaging young people and attracting skilled employees were among the top issues they face – hardly surprising, as nearly 3.5 million positions will need to be filled by 2020. Are there ways for manufacturers – regardless of company size, industry, or amount of revenue – to tackle these challenges head-on without compromising assets or sacrificing talent? Absolutely. The following are examples of tips and tools capable of guiding you toward a healthy, sustainable pipeline of workers, which ultimately spells success for you and your company. Engage employees… and become more productive as a result! While time should definitely be invested in getting new, skilled workers in place, your existing workforce is just as important. Keep your employees engaged by offering them choices and opportunities to participate in operations and company

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4 Guaranteed Ways to Recruit Millennials for Manufacturing Jobs

February 13, 2017 by Michael O'Donnell

Standing at more than 80 million people, millennials are among the largest and most-studied generation to date. Studies, blogs, and other media have touched on their tech savviness and what seems like an innate ability to multitask… but not a high level of engagement in traditional jobs, especially in manufacturing. In fact, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, a mere 28 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 considered themselves engaged at work. This is due to a number of factors. The perception of manufacturing is often negative, associated with unsafe equipment and old-fashioned assembly lines like that of the early 20th century. This also contributes to the myth that employees are often stressed, overworked, and treated poorly in a factory setting. While businesses and community organizations are now taking the next steps toward quashing these misconceptions, your company may benefit by changing the way you approach young workers for prospective employment. The following are steps you can take toward getting a younger, more sustainable pipeline and attracting today’s young people to jobs in manufacturing: Create a clear and compelling picture of advanced manufacturing. Because most millennials are digital natives, technology is a cornerstone of their way

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MAGNET Welcomes Terrence Robinson as ECEC Executive Director

August 15, 2016 by Liz Fox

MAGNET is pleased to announce the addition of Terrence S. Robinson to the organization as Executive Director of the new Early College Early Career apprenticeship program. Modeled after European-style apprenticeships, Early College Early Career (ECEC) equips high school students in Northeast Ohio with a skill set highly sought after by the region’s manufacturers. Participating students receive college credit as well as industry certifications that open doors for them upon graduation. The program will also provide ample opportunities for other forms of learning, such as workplace visits, job shadowing, and on-site training. For employers, ECEC builds a continuous pipeline of students and engages local high schools to maintain a strong and steady interest in manufacturing. “Terrence is a key player in helping Early College Early Career launch the creation of a new and skilled manufacturing workforce,” said MAGNET President and CEO Ethan Karp. “With his unrivaled experience in leadership and academia, he will provide ECEC with the direction and vision that it needs to flourish, and MAGNET is proud to have such an invaluable asset on our team.” “I believe that my experiences in education and academia allows me to bring a voice and perspective to the leadership team at MAGNET and ECEC

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Employee Engagement for Productivity — and Profits

June 21, 2016 by Liz Fox

Your organization can’t perform better than your least-engaged employee. Why? Equipment problems are ignored by unskilled workers who don’t have the training to fix them. Defective products are shipped by disaffected associates who have no incentive to catch errors. Dissatisfied customers become even angrier when powerless service representatives don’t have the authority to help them. Each of your employees has thousands of opportunities to identify and fix problems every year, whether on the plant floor or in the office. Yet manufacturers report that only half of their workforces are fully engaged in their improvement methodologies, such as lean or six sigma. Just as surprising: Poor levels of engagement are common across manufacturing, at companies both big and small. This offers a rare advantage to smaller companies — with fewer employees to train, empower, and engage in their methodologies — for rapid improvement and competitive advantage. That’s the good news. The bad news is this: Far too many leaders — at companies of all sizes —jealously guard the authority to make changes and become production heroes. In fact, a full 25 percent of manufacturers describe the breadth and depth of adoption of their improvement methodologies as “none” or “minimal.” The worst

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Need a Career? Looking for an Opportunity to Enter and Advance in a Job with Potential? Employers are waiting for you!

June 15, 2016 by Liz Fox

MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network has partnered with Cuyahoga Community College in the design and delivery of fast track training programs that include a paid internship at local companies that are ready to hire. Cleveland manufacturers like Auto Diesel Piston Ring, Curtiss Wright, Kennametal, SSP Fittings, Soundwich, and Jergens have committed to providing these internships as a first step for job seekers to get the experience that companies are looking for. The training programs provide job seekers with the skills needed to start on a middle skill career path in advanced manufacturing. The old manufacturing jobs in Northeast Ohio are disappearing. They are being replaced by career positions in advanced manufacturing. Companies are looking for individuals with specific skills related to designing and making the high quality, specialized products needed in a wide variety of industries from aerospace to automotive to advanced systems. Individuals with experience are in high demand. However, many potential applicants are overlooked because they don’t have the required experience. The fast track training programs offer the ability to gain experience quickly! In an interview about his training experience, a recent graduate of the welding fast track training program commented that he was looking for

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Don't Just Talk About a Skills Gap - Do Something!

June 01, 2016 by Liz Fox

Countless news reports point to the skills gaps among U.S. manufacturers, particularly among small- and mid-sized companies. Executives quoted in these articles typically cite a familiar litany of complaints about potential employees: poor math skills, inability to pass drug tests, lack of work ethic, don’t like manufacturing, blah, blah, blah. But the topic that should really concern these leaders is how terrible most companies are at leveraging the latent talent they already have — and augmenting it selectively with new employees. The sad truth is that most manufacturers, for all their worry about talent, don’t have the simple strategies, plans, and best practices in place to address those concerns. The numbers are clear: Almost half of U.S. employers report that talent shortages have a medium to high impact on their business. Yet a full 20% of these companies have no strategy to overcome talent shortages. The MPI Group found that 11% of manufacturers have no human-capital management strategy, while another 27% have only a generic strategy with little or no functional involvement (i.e., operations and production staff are disconnected from HR practices). How can a manager break his reliance on the “skills gaps” excuse? By deploying the 3Es (Educate, Engage,

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Upskilling Current Workers to Address Skill Shortages

February 10, 2016 by MAGNET Ohio

  A shortage of skilled workers to fill current vacancies and the growing skills gap in the manufacturing workforce is becoming one of the most pressing problems facing manufacturers. Whether it is a new product, increased sales, or more innovative equipment, employers are seeking talent for the changing manufacturing landscape. Finding a pool of potential candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills can be a daunting task. Employers frequently voice their frustration and dissatisfaction with the caliber of individuals seeking manufacturing positions. Finding individuals who can quickly master the needed skills and who fit into the company’s culture can be frustrating. Upskilling current workers is one strategy that companies are starting to consider as a way to get the needed qualified workforce. Incumbent worker training, whether delivered at the company or at an educational institution, can be the short-term solution. Current employees have already demonstrated their ability to do the work and fit into the company’s culture. Providing them an opportunity for training is often a welcome benefit that can lead to promotions and employee retention. Partnering with a local community college or university can provide easy access to quality instruction that can be adapted to meet the company’s needs.

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Are you a manufacturer looking for new talent?

January 13, 2016 by MAGNET Ohio

As companies enter the new calendar year, many will be faced with workforce challenges. Some will be seeking new employees to fill vacancies created by the retiring baby boomers; others will be looking for employees with skills to meet the changing demands brought on by new technologies or production of new, more complex products. Regardless of the need, solutions will be more difficult due to a smaller pool of candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills. Recent articles and research reports are suggesting that companies need to step up and become part of the solution. After all, complaining and blaming others will not lead to a skilled workforce. MAGNET is partnering with employers and educators to develop and implement strategies to address current and future manufacturing talent needs. One of the most successful approaches is an internship program offered by a local career-technical school, college, or university. Employers are finding that interns not only bring new perspectives and energy to their workforce, but they also may become the new employee needed to fill a vacancy. Students in technical training programs are prepared to work in skilled production positions and become contributors more quickly and often with less on-the-job training than

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Introducing the 2015 Distance-Learning Career Awareness Program

November 04, 2015 by Liz Fox

Did you know Ohio is the third-largest manufacturing state in the country based on employment? Manufacturing is indeed experiencing a resurgence, and employers are growing anxious to develop their future talent pipelines by engaging the next generation of workers. In addition to promoting new internships, co-ops, and apprenticeships for students entering the workforce, Dream It Do It Ohio has partnered with WVIZ/Ideastream in Cleveland to present a new distance-learning program geared toward getting prospective workers interested in the exciting careers manufacturing has to offer. The Career Awareness program comprises a series of transmitted 45-minute segments focused on companies and organizations in Northeast Ohio who offer a range of opportunities for young people. The first broadcast, which aired Oct. 7, featured representatives from Nordson Corporation who were hired as a result of their strong STEM skills and interest in manufacturing. Two award-winning high school robotics teams also presented on their design process and included a live demonstration of one of their finished works! View the Oct. 7 program at the Ideastream website On Nov. 12, participating schools will get to hear insights from young employees at Alcoa, a global leader in lightweight metals manufacturing that serves markets in the aerospace, automotive,

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