If we want to fill the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow, industry leaders and their partners will need to take extraordinary measures today. We sponsor Alliance for Working Together (AWT) because we believe that a radical change in manufacturing demands radical action.
AWT is taking a uniquely proactive approach to growing the manufacturing workforce of Ohio from the ground up. It’s a program that is making waves in the industry. And the Build America, Buy America Act comes not a moment too soon. So Ohio manufacturers should note how we’re working to transform our local manufacturing workforce: Some of the kids we’re inspiring may soon apply to their company!
Setting the Stage with the Game-Changing “Build America, Buy America” Act
Many are predicting that the Build America, Buy America Act will revolutionize the manufacturing industry in the same way the recent passage of the Climate Bill created a surge in clean energy projects across the country.
The Build America, Buy America Act “requires that all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in infrastructure projects are produced in the United States.” It’s a stipulation that cuts through the red tape and hits right in the heart of American manufacturing.
These are boom times for manufacturing. With the passage of this bill, in addition to the industry-rallying Climate Bill, and an estimated 12 trillion dollars influx of manufacturing investment from the recently passed Infrastructure Act, the industry is looking at a very bright future—that is, if employers can hire the workers they need to get the job done.
AWT is Stepping Up to the Challenge!
This summer, our partners at AWT are conducting several manufacturing camps for kids as young as the 4th through 7th grades. In the ten years they’ve been holding summer camps, they’ve attracted the praise and support of many local businesses, teachers, and parents who love seeing their children get a rare, hands-on experience with the vast world of manufacturing.
It’s all about casting light on previously unconsidered possibilities and breaking down barriers to entry. In these summer camps, kids learn everything from what an apprentice carpenter does and what they get to build to the incredible possibilities of being a CNC technician. The goal is to inspire kids with early exposure to those opportunities and help them identify the skills and build the interest they’ll need as they imagine their future.
It’s a long-game approach to helping build the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. But if manufacturers will secure the windfall of forthcoming investments in their industry, these are precisely the proactive steps we need to take to get our workforce to levels that can handle the work.
Plus, with their ten-year track record, these summer camps could feasibly begin to pay sooner than you think!
Diversity Builds a More Innovative, Resilient Workforce
One unique aspect of this year’s summer camps is a camp for 5th and 6th graders—girls only.
Manufacturing has long been considered a men-only industry, run and staffed by men. Many believe that American manufacturing has been on a long decline in part due to its highly homogenous workforce—a trajectory it can no longer afford.
There’s no quick fix to building a more diverse workforce. Instead, businesses need to demonstrate to women and underrepresented workers how manufacturing is an industry they can access and one in which they can flourish.
In addition to in-class projects, the girls-only camps visited local manufacturers to hear from women engineers or women in leadership positions—career paths that many girls hadn’t even considered until they met and talked with someone in that role.
These summer camps are great at helping girls come out of their shells, sparking their curiosity, and helping them visualize a world of possibility otherwise unimagined. This is just one of the many ways we can help to build our manufacturing workforce: together.
How Vector Technical (and You) Can Help Fill Future Manufacturing Jobs
As a long-time staffing agency for Ohio’s manufacturing industry, we’re excited to see how AWT can help build and transform our local workforce in the future. But workers and employers can fill manufacturing jobs today.
If you want to get in on the surge in American manufacturing, reach out to Vector Technical. We can get you started on a promising career, or we can find you the best and brightest talent for your company right now. Contact Vector Technical today!