If you attended the Distribution Summit: D15 last month, you saw the headline of this article on a PowerPoint slide that I put together for one of the AMTTalks. The subject of this particular talk was a one-on-one with Nick Karaisz, CMTSE, from Novi Precision, who is a terrific example of continuing professional development among the next generation of sales leaders in our industry.

Nick began his career in manufacturing about five years ago, after earning a degree in finance and working in the financial services industry for a few years. Nick’s story is a familiar one these days. We’ve had to rebuild the sales organizations at our companies since the financial meltdown. Many of the young people that we are hiring are coming from the families of  a family-owned business, and many across the industry are coming into our industry with little or no background in engineering or technology, but with terrific sales acumen.

Many member companies have been using AMT sales training products and services for sales fundamentals, technology fundamentals, Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE), advanced sales training, and Nick has already moved into the new “Alpha” Leadership Forum group that recently began. You know that with a name like “Alpha,” that group is not just motivated, they’re dedicated to continuous improvement of themselves and their companies.

Continuous personal and professional development requires dedication.

At a family reunion this summer, one of my cousins, who is also my age, told me that from seeing my bicycle app shares to Facebook, he thought it took incredible motivation for me to ride as many miles and as often as I do. When I responded that I wasn’t just motivated to ride, I was dedicated, he thought that I should put that on t-shirts and bumper stickers. I told him that I’d be amazed if that hadn’t been done already. 

Developing the next generation of Smartforce for our members, and U.S. manufacturing in general, is kind of like riding a bike: providing the right motivation and fuel, keeping the momentum going by keeping both legs moving at a steady pace, ‘round and ‘round, digging deep when faced with an uphill challenge, and maintaining an energy level over a long distance. For me, the metaphor fits in overcoming the obstacles that we face in assuring that the next generation of young designers, machinists, engineers, production technicians, field service technicians and others are encouraged to join our industry.

By the time you read this article, we’ll be well into Manufacturing Month and way past Manufacturing Day on October 2. But those are just one month out of the year and one day out of the month where we have opportunities to motivate the next generation of young people to consider a career choice in manufacturing. In order to be dedicated, we have to make sure that we’ve re-established our relationships with local career and technical schools, community colleges and engineering schools and local, regional and national policy-makers.

The nature of this skills gap that we are dedicated to overcome is becoming inherently more challenging. A study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, which was completed last spring, reports that by 2025, the skills gap could grow to two million as a result of the baby boomer generation continuing to retire, the increase in innovations and in new technologies, general economic expansion, and the fact that there are too few young people in the training pipeline. 

AMT Smartforce is dedicated to helping you locally and across the nation. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at gjones@AMTonline.org and for more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter @GregoryAJones.  

Attention CMTSEs

If you earned your Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE) credential or last recertified in 2012, the deadline to renew it is around the corner, on Nov. 1, 20150.

Don’t let your certification lapse. Remember your CMTSE designation is your best means to communicate to your customers that your knowledge, experience and commitment set you apart from the crowd, that you are a trusted business advisor.

Continue to use the CMTSE mark of distinction in the manufacturing industry for another three years by submitting your Recertification score card along with the $150 renewal fee today.

Get started right away: Go to www.cmtse.org, click on “Recertification” to document your professional development points toward your renewal.

Do it today! Should you have any questions, please contact Clara Mora by email at cmora@AMTonline.org, or by phone at 703-827-5276.