How Will You Overcome the Skill Gaps in Your Workforce?

How Will You Overcome the Skill Gaps in Your Workforce?

by Dave Watts, July 21, 2020

Today’s advanced manufacturers are facing an escalating skills gap in their work force. For many, older employees are reaching retirement age in large numbers and there is a shortage of skilled employees to fill their shoes. Technical high schools and community colleges are struggling to prepare enough students with the skills needed to succeed in today’s advanced manufacturing environment.   

In fact, in a 2018 study conducted by the Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the data predicted a gap of over 4.6 million manufacturing jobs from 2019-2028 with a potential economic impact of 2.5 trillion. That is huge! And it comes on top of the economic impact we are all facing due to the global pandemic.  So where do you turn?  

Advanced Manufacturing Training & Apprenticeships 

The Institute Workplace Skills & Innovation did a study that showed employers can earn a 36% return on their investments in apprentice training. 

How will apprenticeships generate that kind of ROI?  Here is what companies like yours say they’ve experienced when they adopt a formal apprenticeship program. 

Benefits of Apprenticeships 

  • Reduced recruiting costs
  • A more predictable and reliable supply of skilled labor
  • Improved employee retention
  • Improved employee productivity
  • Reduceturnover
  • Improved productivity, adding directly to the bottom line 
  • Adds to the pool of employees for internal leadership development

The bottom line is apprenticeships are good for business.  

How Do You Build an Apprenticeship Program?  

There are several options for developing your apprenticeship program. 

Some companies use internal resources to develop the curriculum and manage the program; however, that often requires taking some of your most talented resources out of production. 

And, let’s face it, many manufacturing organizations can’t afford to build a robust training operation in house. Instead, they make use of programs created by industry associations or other third parties, like a local college or university or even commercial training organizations.   

Department of Labor Funding Available 

The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) located in Newark, NJ, one of only 32 polytechnic universities in the United States, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College) were jointly awarded a grant from the US Department of Labor for Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeships that specifically addresses the predicted skills gap so many companies like yours are facing. You can utilize these programs to upskill your current workforce and hire new talent through a pipeline of pre-apprenticeship programs.  

How do you get started?  

The human capital team at NJIT will work directly with you, as an employer, to understand which programs are best suited to your workforce and even build a customized program for you, leveraging prepared curriculum and combining some of your unique practices and processes to address your unique needs. 

On September 14th, NJIT and Penn College will be offering an Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program (IMT) online. There are 20 spots available in this program which consists of 110 hours of classroom instruction and 1,500 hours of on the job training. The apprenticeship is also 50% funded by the USDOL. At the end of the program, your employees will receive a Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) Certification from the Manufacturing Skills Institute. 

What will your employees learn during their Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship?  

The IMT apprenticeship program provides new or under-skilled manufacturing workers with a robust and diverse skill set. The program prepares individuals for advancement into more technically advanced career paths — for example, training required to be a technician in Mechatronics. 

The IMT training program through NJIT is a comprehensive and customizable training curriculum. The program can be delivered in a way that best suits your needs — whether at your location, NJIT or virtually. 

IMT prepares production workers for the knowledge and competencies needed in the advanced manufacturing environment. The program trains workers to:  

  1. Setup, operate, monitor and control production equipment  
  2. Gain knowledge of routine equipment maintenance 
  3. Efficiently and safely manage raw materials and consumables  
  4. Help improve manufacturing processes and schedules to meet customer requirements  
  5. Understand manufacturing as a business  
  6. Understand inventory management and material processes 

Topics covered include:  

  • Industrial Math 
  • Intro to Mechanical Components  
  • Intro to Fluid Power and Thermodynamics 
  • Intro to Industrial Electricity 
  • Basics of Chemistry 
  • Manufacturing Process 
  • Business Acumen 
  • Communication in the Workplace  
  • Conflict Resolution  
  • Engaging in Teamwork  
  • Blueprint Reading  
  • Quality, Lean and SPC Basics  
  • OSHA 

Please contact the workforce development team at NJIT for more details and pricing.