From the I-beams, high, atop the Manhattan skyline to your neighborhood playground, metal fabrication has shaped our reality. The skilled trade of metal manufacturing bends the rules of one of our toughest resources in order to succumb to our challenging product designs. However, even with our demand for this high performing profession only a select few dare to delve into the world of molten metal and ornate sparks. Why is there such a demand for workers and no one to fill the need?
According to reports, ‘Nearly six million factory jobs, almost a third of the entire manufacturing industry, have disappeared since 2000’. Foreign markets are partially to blame for this dip in factory employment. However, the boom in technological advances far exceeds the foreign displacement, illustrating that modern manufacturing is adapting, in order to compete in the global market. Machines have been found to cut down on labor costs and increase productivity, simply because of the absence of basic human restrictions.
Welding, one of the more popular branches of metal fabrication is highly sought after as a career choice among young adults. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training is offered for those willing to put in the hours needed to perfect those skills and nurture potential. However, in the modern industry welders need not only perfect their double-bevel joints, but also become savvy in science and math, in order to keep abreast of the advancing technological requirements. With this in mind, the industry’s’ very dismissal of human instinct, which makes machines so desirable, is in turn what makes the craftsmen so advantageous. The manufacturing industry must find skilled workers to, not only recognize the quality of work that this new technology should be producing, but to be able to pull together the math and science prowess necessary to fix the technology when it inevitably fails. Adam Davidson at the New York Times has been quoted in saying, “The secret behind this skills gap is that it’s not a skills gap at all.” Companies are looking for intelligent and efficient workers that can, not only, mold impressive fabrications, but bring our world into the new age. It is the combination of strength, technique and mental acuity that will carry the next generation of master welders.
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Finding apprenticeship or internship programs that embrace the new technology and encourage the modern welder to chart a new course will keep candidates informed and inspired in their chosen career. These programs will train potential hires to develop a genuine appreciation for the art of welding, while also encouraging prospective welders to network with a variety of professionals who can offer advice and mentoring along the way. It is important to find a company that respects the craftsman as well as the craft. If you’re searching for a true veteran in this industry for metal and power integration projects, Easter-Owens has carefully crafted a dedication to quality unmatched throughout the world for over 55 years. We are internationally recognized and provide high quality custom design, manufacturing and product solutions.
Photo Credit: Rick Janson