Wheatland Tube Color

17 Neglected Manufacturing Careers

When people think of careers in manufacturing, it’s safe to say they think of the plant workers and not far beyond that. And there’s no question the production workers are the heart of our operation. Without our plant employees, we wouldn’t be able to produce anything – even given the increase in automated plant tasks. However, there are more careers in manufacturing than skilled/unskilled positions. In fact, manufacturing is home to a wide range of careers that require varied levels of education and training.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education have been a topic of conversation lately and we think it’s a great thing to see and hear. The STEM areas of education are critical to our growth and success as a company, as well as for manufacturing as an industry.

For the US and the rest of North America to continue to reshore manufacturing jobs, we need to “step up our game” when it comes to educating tomorrow’s manufacturing workers. This begins at the elementary level where we must introduce the vast opportunities available in STEM careers to young boys and girls, specifically manufacturing. This education and awareness has to continue through high school and college, showing students the possibilities available to them.

Leaving the education to the teachers and professors (for now, anyways), we’re going to review some of the neglected careers of manufacturing. The careers students don’t give a second thought to, careers that are vital to the success of a manufacturing production, and careers that are simply overlooked if you’re unfamiliar with the industry.

Engineering and Technology

Typically speaking, engineering and technology jobs require post-secondary education, from gaining an Associate’s degree to a Bachelor’s degree and beyond, if you want to be involved with designing and building things, you will have to do some schooling.

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Employee Spotlight: Wheatland’s Women in Manufacturing

In our latest blog post, we talked about manufacturing’s greatest, most underutilized asset, which of course, are women. And that got us thinking about the Wheatland women. During a time when women in manufacturing has become such a hot topic, we are doing what we can to grow the workforce and put people back to work.

Although we can’t say enough about the men working in our facilities, we wanted to take the time to highlight a few of the many women working at our facilities.  

In celebrating our women, we sat down with three outstanding employees and discussed a variety of topics, including why they think there is such a significant gap in the number of women who work in manufacturing and how we can get more young girls and women interested in manufacturing.

The Interview

Meet Lisa Beers, Christine Walczak and Sue Preston: three women who have collectively contributed more than 50 years of service to Wheatland Tube. Let’s get to know these women and their thoughts about the state of manufacturing and the future of women in the industry.

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Manufacturing's greatest, most underutilized asset

The US manufacturing industry is flourishing. The skilled manufacturing workforce is not.

Promising numbers, manufacturing isn't going anywhere: it's primed to grow. According to the Accenture 2014 Manufacturing Skills and Training Study (a study about the state of manufacturing and potential threats to its continued growth), 82% of survey respondents plan to increase production, with 50% saying that they plan to increase US-based production by at least 5 percent over the next five years. What's more, almost 25% of those surveyed intend to increase manufacturing roles in the US by more than 10% in the next five years.

However, despite the slated growth over the next five years, US manufacturers are facing quite the dilemma: a shortage in skilled workers.

Although there's been an influx in automation within manufacturing, resulting in the need for a smaller workforce, there continues to be a high demand for skilled and highly skilled workers. In fact, according to Accenture's study, 80% of the manufacturing roles fell into the skilled and highly skilled categories.

And this is where the problem lies: there aren't enough qualified job seekers in the industry. And unfortunately, this supply and demand issue will only continue to grow as the current skilled workforce reaches retirement age over the next 10 to 15 years.

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Three Key Solar Industry Statistics

While solar power often appears to be an issue outside of the mainstream, industry statistics tell the story of a robust industry with strong momentum that is on track to become a key driver of the U.S. economy. 

As the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) states on its home page, "Every energy resource deployed in the U.S. has approximately 30 years of innovation and early adoption before mainstream adoption." 

Solar energy is solidly poised to become a mainstream energy source. The progress has been impressive. Below are three statistics from the SEIA that demonstrate the industry's momentum and its growing economic importance.

 

 

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