- Industrial companies that offer apprenticeships, internships, co-ops and other workforce-development programs help ensure a healthy, competitive future for the company, the industry and the region, the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report stated recently.
- Although President Donald Trump supports and has pitched the idea, program funding is lacking, as Department of Labor funds have been cut by 21%. As a result, companies are funding such programs on their own.
- In some cases, companies like Dow Chemical pay for education costs as well as offering a salary in order to encourage focus and commitment to the program.
The troubling — and growing — lack of manufacturing workers could seriously hamper U.S. production unless active intervention is taken to interest more potential staff in industry jobs.
Reports of vocational training opportunities in high schools and junior colleges are increasing as the manufacturing industry seeks to manage its 6:1 ratio of jobs available versus suitable applicants. In March, Joe Kaeser, CEO of German company Siemens, considered investing nearly $2 billion in specialized industry software to help train U.S. students in various programs for modern manufacturing positions. The company already employs 50,000 U.S. workers in its apprenticeship program.
With job fairs and recruitment efforts failing to address the pending crisis in staffing, apprenticeships offer a ray of hope for fulfilling empty positions. Companies that recognize the rewards of significant investment in their workers are more likely to wind up with properly skilled staff. Although many manufacturers offer informal training processes and help with tuition (in some cases), a structured program clearly outlining expectations and achievements — on the job and in the classroom — results in a stronger relationship between potential workers and the company offering advanced training. Add to that a mentor who has shared experiences within an apprenticeship program and a support network is virtually guaranteed.