Attracting top talent is key to any company’s future. This isn’t news to anyone that has been in business for any amount of time – good help is hard to find! Fifty years ago, manufacturing plants in the United States could rely on finding workers within the ranks of high school graduates or uneducated laborers with solid on-the-job training. Tasks in manufacturing were highly repetitive and required employees to work heavily with their hands for loading, unloading, operating, and maintaining equipment.
Today’s manufacturing environment requires a much different skill-set and mindset. The repetitive, manual tasks are no longer performed by people – they are done by machines. Instead of operating drills, mills, plating tanks, scrubbers, and inspecting under microscopes, manufacturing personnel are loading in programs, determining scheduling efficiencies, establishing preventative maintenance, and integrating new technologies into the fabrication process. This requires people who are willing to look at the big picture, have critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and aren’t afraid to dig into software and systems that allow machines to operate together.
Calumet Electronics believes that not only the future of our company but the entire manufacturing industry in the U.S. is dependent on the skilled labor that comes from problem-solving and critical thinking skills developed in our country’s education system. Our company has been actively engaged in working with our local universities, high schools, and career/technical centers to engage with students, recruit, and provide internship opportunities.
Last week, Calumet recruited at the Career Fair at Michigan Technologicalnological University where we actively support the PCB fabrication lab, the Printed Circuit Board manufacturing class, and source more than 10 interns every year. That same week, we participated in the Community Workforce Day at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, MI where juniors and seniors from regional high schools come to the campus and get a chance to talk to local companies and find out what they do. We also support “Talent Tours” set up through Michigan Works where local students are able to come and tour our plant and get a flavor of what manufacturing is like in a high-volume circuit card shop.
Companies need to be actively investing in the education of our communities to develop the cognitive and critical thinking skills needed for the workforce of now and the future. We’ve chosen to engage in the education system around us and develop that pipeline that will ensure our success and the success of manufacturing in the U.S.