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WORKFORCE PIPELINE A MONTHLY FEATURE ABOUT TRAINING, EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


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Demand for Machinists Leads to New Mission marketing plan designed to attract more employees to the


fter 20 years in business and faring well through the re- cession, MITGI looked toward a future bright with growth and potential, only to face a new problem: fi nding


enough well-qualifi ed people. Located in Hutchinson—Minneso- ta’s Manufacturing City—MITGI found the demand for machin- ists was higher than the pool of applicants. Many manufacturers across the country were facing the same problem, too. Over the past decade, several individual factors developed


concurrently: growth in US manufacturing, increased production in precision markets, propagation of the idea that four-year col- leges provide the best path to a successful career, and a gen- eration of parents who viewed a trade career as less appealing than their college-path counterparts. Combined, these factors created one big capacity problem: less people planning to work in manufacturing at the same time that more were needed. MITGI decided to face the problem in a new way. Start- ing with recruiting as the goal, the project shifted into a


industry. MITGI created a multifaceted strategy to: t Elevate the perception of manufacturing t Encourage a steady pipeline of young people to view manufacturing as their career path of choice


t Develop collaboration between businesses and educators to better align individual potential with community needs


t Cultivate and showcase a positive work environment that promotes innovation, is welcoming to millennials, and where women in leadership is the norm


t Position MITGI as the premier choice for employment


Manufacturing: The Future Looks Bright When MITGI fi rst considered how to draw more people to manufacturing, the logical place to start was in the drafting and machinist programs at area technical schools. It quickly became evident that the students in these programs needed no convinc- ing that manufacturing had a solid outlook, but there were far fewer students enrolled than would be needed to meet demand. Working back to fi nd the age when path decisions are formed, MITGI discov- ered that in order to help students see manufactur- ing as a viable career path, they needed to start introducing the concept as early as middle school. MITGI began a process of community engage- ment, simultaneously applying public relations strategies and building a coalition of business leaders and educators.


“What started as a plan to ensure a reliable


After completing the machinist program at an area technical school, Troy (left) returned to his hometown to fi nd a home and start his career. Troy accepted a position at MITGI as a machinist, and currently serves as primary trainer for incoming machinists.


134 AdvancedManufacturing.org | July 2016


source of future employees has turned into some of the most important work that we do,” said Eric Lipke, MITGI President. “By working with students, parents, and members of the community, we can show what modern manufacturing looks like and help students to formulate plans for a productive future that benefi ts the whole community.”


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