My job at AMT is to help our members, along with other manufacturing companies, to solve the challenge of recruiting enough qualified people for the open positions for machinists, welders, engineers and other shopfloor positions.
I have found, over time, that many manufacturing companies have lost the connections they had in the past with vocational schools, community colleges and universities in their area that would assure them of a constant pipeline of recruits from these schools.
I’m encouraging manufacturers to re-engage with schools, and the easiest way to do that is to offer internships at your company during the school year or in the summer months. And now is the time to begin recruiting for interns.
Over the holidays, I answered dozens of phone calls and emails from friends, family and acquaintances asking for help to place their son or daughter in an internship program. I had been working with a number of engineering schools and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) so those schools would begin to encourage their students to post their resumes on MTCareers.org, our industry-specific job board.
The NCATC (NCATC.org) is a group of more than 160 community colleges located across the country in the typical centers of manufacturing, and these schools have outstanding advanced manufacturing technology programs in place. NCATC has gotten the word out to its students to post their resumes on MTCareers, and if they are seeking an internship, to include a note about that in the “Career Objectives” section of their resume, so it is searchable.
AMT has created a poster to recruit students and graduates for internships and jobs in our industry, and then has sent it to dozens of engineering schools around the country.
The schools have sent the pdf to students via their electronic bulletin boards, and we’ve also mailed copies to the schools so they could post them on their bulletin boards in their program departments, as well as in their career services department.
You can find a copy of the poster online on AMT’s website at amtonline.org by searching for the key word “MTCareers.”
Recruiting the next generation of young people to replace the baby boomers who are retiring and to fill the open positions that already exist will require a number of strategies. As an industry, we are in heavy competition with other industries that are experiencing similar gaps in recruiting qualified people.
Engaging with schools on a local basis by starting an internship program is one thing you can do at your company to solve your skilled labor shortage. For more ideas and tactics, feel free to contact me at AMT.