Tag : manufacturing jobs

U.S. Manufacturing

U.S. Manufacturing Myths and Misconceptions

It’s impossible to pinpoint when we collectively became Debbie Downers regarding U.S. manufacturing. People appear to equate the rise of Chinese manufacturing with the decline of U.S. manufacturing, although there is no truth to it. In fact, there is no truth to many of the myths and misconceptions about Manufacturing. Here are 10 of the worst offenders:

Manufacturing in the U.S. is in a Sharp Decline

A 2016 MAPI Foundation report claims that if U.S. manufacturing were its own economy, that economy would be the seventh largest in the world. The size of the economy based on manufacturing alone is greater than the economic output of Brazil, Italy, India, and Canada. Just to underscore – that’s the manufacturing sector alone. Nearly one-third of the U.S. economy is manufacturing-based. Consider the points scored politically by both sides of the aisle when politicians decry the loss of Manufacturing in the US. While it may benefit them in the short run, it does the public at large a disservice by painting a far bleaker picture then actually exist.

Jobs in Manufacturing are Dangerous

To be fair, there have been times in American history when manufacturing jobs were downright unsafe. Innovative laws, regulations, and technology introduced through the years have resulted in far safer workplaces. While the risk of injury exists at any place of employment, Americans working in manufacturing have a relatively low risk of being injured. This is according to a report by the Bureau of Labor statistics. Less injuries are partly due greater awareness, and partly due to newer, safer production techniques. It is in the best interest of both a company and its employees to employ practices designed to protect employee wellbeing.

Robots are Going to Replace Humans

Is impossible to deny that manufacturers have invested in greater automation technology. That fact in no way means that robots will replace humans. More than 12,000,000 Americans work in the manufacturing industry, a number that is expected to increase rather than decrease in the upcoming years. Automation was never designed to take over for humans, but to give them a competitive edge in the world marketplace. U.S. workers produce more than workers anywhere on the globe, and automation simply makes them more efficient.

Manufacturing Does Not Create Enough New Jobs

This myth practically busts itself. In an industry that employs more than 12,000,000 people, there are always jobs available. Manufacturing continues to represent one of the country’s most vibrant job markets. Positions in manufacturing, from CEO to CNC machining, must be filled in order to enjoy continued growth.

It’s Too Expensive to Manufacture Products in the U.S.

Due to the way in which U.S. manufacturers have “leaned” their production processes and received new tax breaks, the cost of American products have actually become less expensive, rather than more expensive. In order to compete, American companies are learning to work smarter (beginning with processes like Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma). Combined with tax breaks, they are able to pass the savings to consumers. As easy as it would be to be cynical and assume that manufacturers are keeping the extra profit for themselves, they realize that they must offer competitively priced products in order to compete with production coming out of other countries. As an added bonus, U.S. manufacturing companies spend more on research and development then manufacturers from any other country in the world. The result is a better product and now, a better price.

American Manufacturers use Outdated Processes

This myth has just enough truth at its core to make it believable. It is, however, not true. It did take U.S. manufacturing more time than it should have to embrace new technology and the digital revolution. As more manufacturers realized that they would have to adapt to survive and that automation and streamlining could improve efficiency and output, they came on board. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a successful manufacturer that does not use the most up-to-date processes. In fact, you need look no further than your local CNC machine shop for state-of-the-art technology.

It’s Fine to Outsource as Long as Product Design Stays in America

People have found ways to justify outsourcing since it began. They’ve said that they’re doing it to cut costs and save jobs in the U.S. They’ve said that it’s good for the global economy. They have also claimed that it’s fine to outsource production as long as product design stays in the U.S. This is a myth. As the former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove knows a thing or two about manufacturing processes. Grove argues that the best innovation takes places when designers and production teams are in one place. They can troubleshoot, give each other feedback, and fine-tune their designs.

The Only Manufacturing Jobs Available are Low-Skilled and Tedious

Today’s manufacturing involves the use of computers that can operate machinery in a way that allows for extraordinary precision. The field requires skills like the ability to problem solve on the fly, operate complex machines, and make quick calculations. Any job can be tedious. The best employees in manufacturing do not just consider the task at hand, but also think about ways they can improve the process.

Women are Unhappy in Manufacturing

The collective mental image we have of the American factory worker tends to be male. After all, it was men who filled the factories after World War II, and men we saw on the nightly news when they went on strike in the decades that followed. That image may be one of the reasons that a Women in Manufacturing survey found that less than 10% of women ages 17 to 24 listed manufacturing among their top five career choices. Perhaps the outcome would have been different had they known how happy women working in the manufacturing sector are. 82% of women who work in manufacturing say they find the field interesting and challenging. 74% felt that manufacturing offers multiple career opportunities. No matter a person’s gender, opportunity awaits in fields like CNC manufacturing, electronics, and apparel manufacturers.

Manufacturing has no Future

Change is not only inevitable, it is uncomfortable. While U.S. manufacturing evolved and some of the big players moved to a bench position, the myth that manufacturing in the U.S. has no future grew. Rather than marveling at the new and innovative businesses that were expanding their manufacturing base and much of the public focused on the big players that now seem somewhat small. The truth is, change is not bad, it’s just scary. Manufacturing in the U.S. is alive and well. The number of people needed to fill open manufacturing positions continues to grow and the impact the manufacturing sector has on the economy swells.

As manufacturing fuels the economy, there will be a need for more skilled workers, like engineers and machine operators who can work on custom machined parts. That’s good news for everyone. Tag Team Manufacturing, located in Parker, Colorado is looking to add machine operators and set up machinists to their team. Contact them today at 303-841-5697.

CNC Machinist

Machine Shop Presents: Top 10 Ways to Keep Machinists over 10 Years

It’s never easy for manufacturers to attract, recruit and retain machinists. The problem isn’t going away any time soon. By 2025, the manufacturing industry will have approximately 3.5 million positions., but only 1.5 million getting filled according to study by the Manufacturing Institute in Partnership with Deloitte.

Numerous industry leaders suggest that quick advancement in manufacturing technology may alienate seasoned workers. Some think that robotics, programming skills and automation is the solution. Other players believe that lack of female presence on machine shop floors could be untapped labour source. Is it?

We spoke with top players in manufacturing and recruitment in a bid to unravel ways to retain CNC machinists for many years. Here is what we gathered.

1. Pay well

Paying competitive salaries with a tight budget and low funds can be difficult. But if you calculate the cost of replacing your machinist, it can help. It can cost between 30% and 50% of an entry level machinist annual salary to replace an experienced one. Most machinists in the manufacturing industry find they can get about 30% salary increase by moving to another company.

2. Make manufacturing jobs secure

Manufacturers struggle with the negative image of closing plants, driving down labour costs and offshore jobs. That perception has to change to attract and retain top machinists. You must show that manufacturing sector offers employment security.

3. Run newer fleet

Assuming you had to choose between operating a brand-new energy efficient machine or something built in the Reagan era, which one would you prefer? Most machinists would prefer working in a more pleasant environment. It’s more attractive to work in a clean, safe and comfortable environment. And when it comes to performance, new tech can make a big difference. If you’re having trouble retaining your machinists, think about their “office” and equipment.

4. Invest in training

Career growth is quite challenging especially for start-ups and young companies. Creating an organizational structure that allows for career-development is key. It is essential to help your machinists grow. Today, technology changes at breakneck speeds and machinists have to keep up.

Find innovative ways to generate resources for professional development. Provision of growth and learning opportunities is an ideal way to retain top machinists in your company.

Training is one of the best strategies to improve retention and increase employee loyalty. It’s also an incredible way to enhance productivity and manage costs, especially energy costs, which is achievable when a skilled machinist is in the cab.

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) recommends at least 40 hours of training annually for every employee. While that may sound daunting, keep in mind that training includes low cost activities like on the job mentoring and lunch time coaching.

Some more costly training includes classroom instructions, simulator-based training, offsite seminars and online courses. Regardless of how you do your training, it’s imperative to understand today’s labour market. “Nice-to-have” option is now replaced with “must-do-list.”

5. Make your mission and purpose clear

In modern workplace, millennial employees are the majority. They always need to understand the ‘why’ behind everything that your custom machine shop does. They need to recognize the purpose behind their job detail and believe in the mission. The new generation of CNC machinists desire to know that their work matters.

Ensure that your machine shop has an excellent mission and purpose statement. It should always be genuine

6. Promote creative thinking

Jobs that encourage creative and critical thinking encourage top talents, more so machinists. Creative minds make your precision manufacturing employees to enjoy their work and feel connected.

At least half of today’s workforce is not wholly engaged at work. Some employees ‘show up’ to get a salary. A large number of the workforce is disgruntled with what they do. It is up to the top management and authorities in machine shops to set up creative opportunities.

If you can come up with these opportunities, you’ll not only attract top talent, but also retain machinists. Who wouldn’t enjoy working in a creative setting?

7. Encourage innovation and problem solving

Innovation is wildly popular and a high selling point to the current workforce. Top talents enjoy challenges and innovation. Through creation of an innovation lab or department within your company, machinists can create projects.

Encouraging innovation helps improve your company image, makes machinists appreciated and benefits your clients. Innovation also displays thought leadership in the precision manufacturing industry.

The autonomy to create fundamental and viable solutions to problems is a significant attraction to modern machinists. Similar to creative thinking, it fosters the feeling of connection and enhances collaboration within the company. When machinists feel acknowledged, they are more likely to stay for long.

8. Reward and recognize your machinists

All rewards and recognition must be extrinsic and intrinsic. External motivation such as public recognition and external rewards include praise, bonuses, among others. Inherent motivation enables your staff to feel connected without compromising their autonomy, freedom, and opportunity for personal growth. Monetary bonuses are a plus. Recognition enhances goodwill and loyalty.

Make top machinists feel respected, appreciated, and worthwhile. Custom machine shop clients need to feel that their contributions are significant. Sincere praise and feedback are vital. Top talents are smart enough to recognize platitudes and sincere appreciation.

9. Build a collaborative culture

Teambuilding is an excellent way to enhance performance in a company. Although teambuilding courses and outdoor bonding activities are necessary, ingrained it the culture of your CNC manufacturing custom machine shop. A team-oriented culture can be extensively created and nurtured in your company’s daily operations.

Culture may include the types of meetings you have, where your machinists sit, and how you interact with customers and partners. Bringing in people with a shared sense of belief and purpose in your mission and values may also attract and retain the best machinists.

10. Leadership

Research shows that most workers quit their bosses, not companies. They need to know the managers, senior executives, founders, among others. Machine shops need excellent leadership that exhibits integrity.

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to retaining machinists. Other options to consider include:

  • Start your apprentice program
  • Pay retention bonuses
  • Invite your retired machinists to come back on part time basis
  • Develop ties with family members
  • Interview departing machinists and take their feedbacks seriously

Improving machinist retention rates doesn’t have to be an uphill task. By being a positive role model and connecting with your team, you’ll have a better chance to understand what they need to remain. what do you think? Contact Tag Team Manufacturing for more information.

manufacturing jobs

What geographical areas in the US have the biggest increase in manufacturing?

In the US, the auto industry is currently experiencing a resurgence with the introduction of CNC manufacturing and under the backing of rising consumer confidence, low-interest rates, and the need to replace older cars.
As CNC automation leads the way in spurring industrialization in the U.S., several regions are seen as major players in manufacturing, in this huge economy.

Michigan

During the recession, this area lost most of its manufacturing jobs, but it has since been able to recover 40% of these. It is currently leading in the generation of new manufacturing jobs. America has 70 metropolitan areas for manufacturing employment growth with Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia metropolitan area taking the top spot.
So far, this territory has created more than 89,300 jobs, and this has reversed the overall decline in employment, which is partly attributed to the advent of CNC machining. Detroit is in second place after Silicon Valley in the concentration of engineers, and there are many skilled workers here. The implication is that manufacturing in the USA is well endowed with a knowledgeable workforce. Warren-Troy-Farmington and Grand Rapids-Wyoming are other areas within Detroit playing a significant role in the growth of the manufacturing sector.

Toledo, Ohio

Among the mid-sized cities in the U.S. Toledo is leading in industrial employment and is located 60 miles from Detroit.

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The Southeastern region is another US manufacturing hotspot, as a result of several establishments by major investors from Japan and Germany among others. Within Central Tennessee, small domestic parts companies continue to thrive thanks to the presence of Bridgestone and Nissan manufacturing plants. This is where you find Nissan’s U.S. headquarters since its relocation from Southern California.

Louisville, Kentucky

The region is supporting major domestic auto makers such as Ford which employs more than 14,000 workers, making it one of the largest MSAs. The area leads the park as one with the highest number of employees in “advanced industries,” which are technically oriented parts of the factory economy and tend to pay workers better.

Savannah, Georgia, Colombia, South Carolina., and Charleston, South Carolina

In second position among mid-sized industrial hubs is Savannah, Ga., which acts as a major center for German car companies. On the other hand, expansion of aerospace suppliers and Boeing in Charleston, S.C., places the area among leaders in manufacturing in the United States. The revolution of industrialization in each of these locations did not happen until recently when the growth of workforces is being experienced.

Cape Coral-Ft Meyers, Florida, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, and Sebastian-Vero-Beach, Florida

Are also viewed as southern stars and out-performers in the mid-size industrial regions category.

Oklahoma City and Houston

These areas are home to the country’s oil exploration and drilling companies. What makes them top the list of MSAs is that petrochemical and refining industries in these regions have realized an enormous boon. Falling oil prices have caused organizations engaging in exploration activities to rein in their budgets, but that has not stopped Houston from ranking third, among those with the largest concentration of manufacturing jobs.

More companies are shifting to smaller cities within America, and though manufacturing jobs may not be the central force of the economy, their impact is being felt by both small and huge economies.