Featured Image

Policy Matters

The goal of the updated Mandate is to impact decision-making among federal policymakers by providing a clear vision of near-term and long-term future goals of our industry.
Apr 16, 2021

The Smartforce Development department has actively been working with our AMT Advocacy group colleagues to develop an update of AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate to address market dynamics. In the previous version of the Mandate, we focused on three foundational guideposts with regard to Smartforce Development, including:

  • Supporting STEM challenges at schools with an emphasis on robotics competitions

  • Supporting industry-recognized standards and credentials, mainly through NIMS, that are germane to the greatest number of job functions that our industry needs in a significant recruiting pipeline of workers

  • Supporting the growth of internships and apprenticeships in our industry

In the years since we first put pen to paper for Smartforce Development in the Mandate, we have combined working within an existing framework of federal policy with intentional action on behalf of AMT on behalf of our members. The goal of the updated Mandate is to impact decision-making among federal policymakers by providing a clear vision of near-term and long-term future goals of our industry.

It’s fitting that the next generation Mandate focus on the impact of emerging technologies on workforce development and on having a positive effect on policies that will impact the next generation of workers in U.S. manufacturing facilities.

Even though manufacturing was deemed an essential industry at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall manufacturing workforce was reduced in size due to several factors, including supply chain disruptions negatively impacting the size and scope of the industry’s contribution to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) not protecting all jobs. Companies adjusted course in order to remain competitive, but the skills gap widened during 2020 as a result.

The trend toward automation, robotics, and other emerging technologies requires that we venture toward a more deliberate approach to our industry’s current, near-term and long-term workforce needs, and industry must lead the way with policymakers in Washington and in the 50 states.

AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate 3.0 includes the following recommendations:

  1. Develop policy and legislation to address a looming gap in our educational infrastructure by growing our pipeline of career and technical education (CTE) teachers and improving and creating awareness about opportunities in CTE.

  2. Develop policy and legislation to enable schools to be able to more affordably purchase manufacturing technology equipment, hardware, and software to build out their program labs so that they keep pace with technology advancements.

  3. Double down on the development of industry-recognized standards and credentials, as well as industry-recognized “earn and learn” apprenticeship programs for current job functions, in addition to those job functions that will arise as a result of emerging technologies.

Through education programs and events like IMTS, AMT will continue to work to change perceptions about careers in manufacturing among the next generation of students, their teachers, administrators, and family members. Awareness of STEM and CTE career pathways are an important step to closing the skills gap in manufacturing, but policy matters too. As an industry, we must effect change at the federal and state levels to ensure that a consistent, competent workforce is headed toward a career in U.S. manufacturing.

PicturePicture
Author
Greg Jones
Vice President, Smartforce Development
Recent smartforce News
Has finding qualified employees become an all-consuming headache for your company? If you answered yes, you must attend recruiting expert Chris Czarnik’s presentation on proven strategies for attracting talent at AMT’s 2022 MFG Meeting, April 27-30.
An impersonal workplace led Cassie to leave a large manufacturer and find a friendly work environment at JTD Enterprises, a small family-owned machine shop. JTD pays for all Cassie’s schooling while she learns a great career and works full time.
For sales leaders, the CMTSE program provides a ready solution to management by objectives (MBOs) and a useful key performance indicator (KPI) for each of your salespeople.
SkillsUSA and its industry Career Cluster sponsors support 100 skilled trades. For our industry, there are programs and competitions in CNC machining, welding, mechatronics, additive manufacturing, cybersecurity, and robotics and automation technology.
Thanks to a generous donation from the L.S. Starrett Company, the American Precision Museum (APM) is pleased to announce a fundraising raffle of a limited edition, 0-4 inch OD micrometer set in the “American Pride” color scheme.
Similar News
undefined
Advocacy
By Ryan Kelly | Jun 20, 2022

The first comprehensive database of public sector incentives and funds for small to medium-sized manufacturers is now online for those California. Launching in other states soon.

4 min
undefined
Technology
By Stephen LaMarca | Jun 24, 2022

PMMI and Festo tag team the stem skills gap. AddUp opens up. Legoland in Virginia? Hexagon’s two favorite startups. Desktop CT scanning.

5 min
undefined
Technology
By Stephen LaMarca | Jun 17, 2022

“The future of 3D printing is female." Plastic-eating worms. 3D-printed home coming to Virginia! Need a vacation?

5 min