Skills-gap issue in the US manufacturing industry

The skills-gap issue in the US manufacturing industry is alarming, as employers continue their struggle to find qualified applicants for attractive and well-compensated jobs.

Many companies only see their troubles multiplying as larger numbers of existing employees are preparing for retirement in the coming years.

The Manufacturing Alliance of Chester & Delaware Counties invited Torsten Schimanski, Head of the Learning Center in Eatontown, NJ to join a panel discussion to provide insight into Festo’s successful apprenticeship program solutions.

During the discussion, which included several representatives from manufacturing companies as well as the educational sector, vital topics were discussed, providing the audience with valuable insights regarding talent pipelines, program requirements, financing, and Return-on-Investment (ROI), as well as strong motivation to create or join their own apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeship programs have a long history – for example, Germany’s dual-apprenticeship model dates back more than 130 years and is the talent development backbone of the German workforce.

In 2016, Festo, together with five partners, began an apprenticeship program for Mechatronics in Mason, OH to invest in that area’s young talent. These apprentices work for the participating employers, and over the course of two years, experience an educational mix of on-the-job training, community college classes, and Festo technology training. At the end of the program, these participants will be well-prepared to take advantage of great opportunities to secure rewarding and lucrative full-time jobs with their current employers. They will also have the option to continue their education, specializing in their new trade and company, and / or focus on additional academic degrees.

Festo is in the process of rolling out this apprenticeship program in other states and is actively seeking industrial and educational partners interested in pioneering the apprenticeship movement in the US.

Downington, PA - January 11, 2017