Fighting the Maintenance Crisis
In industry we are very aware of the plight of skilled trades. To compete companies have been cutting back their staff, deferring maintenance almost to chronic levels to save money and have been adding automation systems thus increasing the complexity of the environment. With the average age of the skilled workforce reportedly in early 50’s, a mass exodus is upon. However, to backfill these very valuable skill sets the next generation are clouded with negative stigmas of these often lucrative career paths and thus do not pursue the education needed to be qualified to fill these positions.
U.S. companies find themselves in the awkward situation; despite 10% unemployment rate and plenty of bodies to fill vacant or soon to be vacant jobs, there are very few with the skill sets needed to run their equipment, manage their maintenance performance and deliver reliability consistently. More companies are beginning to realize that they no longer operate as pirates - by acquiring others talent - and having to become farmers and grow their own talent pools. That is why companies like the Marshall Institute with their fast track training curriculum are so valuable.
For years as I spoke, screamed, sang, and even begged for attention to these issues, finally companies, government, and academia are finally taking notice. Listen to my recent interview on evening edition of NPR station WVTF to hear more of the activities to resolve the maintenance crisis.
The Council for Competitiveness is starting to take notice of the maintenance and manufacturing crisis. Please download and review the suggestions that the council is now sharing in hopes of garnering more support and resources to advance manufacturing.
Stay tuned as I will be sharing more solutions to the maintenance crisis in future blogs. If you have any suggestions or questions please leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!