2/22/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

Focusing on Workforce Development in 2019: 10 Stories You Need to See

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The moment of decision is coming for many: automate or find skilled workers? For many the challenge of engaging workers is worth the time and effort. These stories are worth your time, too. 

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employee training at Westminster Tool

Photo by Peter Zelinski, Modern Machine Shop

 

As 2019 unfolds, one of the most important topics on the minds of manufacturers everywhere seems to be finding skilled labor. As happens cyclically in all forms of modern industry, competition presents a moment of decision for shop owners: find ways to automate existing processes, or figure out how to engage more workers.

The industry at present (as at all times) demonstrates a mixture of these two approaches among owners of capital. The movement behind the so-called Industrial Internet of Things advocates ever-increasing levels of automation through software, machine interconnectivity and monitoring, and robotics. But many are also seeking new ways to find, hire and train new workers across manufacturing. While the so-called “skills gap” may be a fraught and unhelpful (or just plain incorrect) way of viewing the most recent crisis of productivity and labor in manufacturing as a whole, there are certainly struggles on the local level as shops of varying sizes decide how to adapt to their particular conditions of competition, productivity and access to labor. 

Modern Machine Shop and her sister magazines covering manufacturing from metalworking to plastic injection to composites have devoted a special effort in recent months to covering stories of shops addressing the development and engagement of workers and their training. But while the settings may be particular, the lessons learned span all areas of manufacturing. 

These stories are well worth your time: 

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