How soon is too soon when it comes to teaching young people about manufacturing? Through various STEM initiatives, more engineering, technology, and manufacturing programs are being started at the high school level or earlier.
Some high schools have either started or revived educational programs that teach students how to get started as skilled machinists, welders, and other technicians. This may be a direct result of the slow but steady manufacturing revival and decline in entry level hiring of college graduates.
There is a new demand for skilled labor in the industrial sector, and high school classes might be a good place to foster it. Such programs give students a better understanding of their career options and alternatives to the conventional college experience.
“Manufacturers are increasingly looking to high schools and community colleges to fill current staffing needs and gear up for a wave of Baby Boomer retirements. Educators are trying to dispel student’s misconceptions about the industry and spark their interest before they choose other jobs or head to four-year colleges, a costly career investment that has yielded disappointing results for some graduates.”
Do you think manufacturing programs should become more prevalent in high schools? Is this an effective approach to filling skilled labor gaps that have become apparent as manufacturing in the U.S. grows?