Let's Get Technical

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If you are in construction and have technical skills or are interested in acquiring technical skills, this blog is for you.

According to John Roberts appearing on the Fox Business channel, companies are having a hard time filling jobs in manufacturing that are technical in nature. The jobs are described as “mission critical”, in other words, jobs which if not done will lead to business failure. 52% of manufacturers state that they are having difficulty filling thousands of these positions.

Says Roberts, one reason for this is that there is a stigma attached to working in manufacturing, especially for people with college degrees. Some of these jobs require an engineering degree. Children don’t spend four years at Brown University on Mom and Pop’s dime to come home and say “Hey Mom, I got a job at the factory.”

Yet the jobs pay well. Also, many require only a certificate from a technical school. And since they are technical in nature, they are in an area American manufacturers are good at doing, for American companies realized long ago that Uncle Sam is on a free trade drug that no amount of rehab will cure. Therefore, they abandoned the small ticket and less skill required production to foreigners and concentrated on the technical and the sophisticated.

This has led to the abandonment of many old style factories for new robotic factories. Unfortunately, many people have noticed only the closed signs not the opened signs. Because of this another perception potential job seekers have is that the United States doesn’t manufacture anymore so why make this a career option.

Yet the truth is that America is still the leading manufacturing power on earth. The reason the number of jobs in manufacturing has gone down isn’t because we make less; in fact, America has never manufactured more products in Her history; it's because machines have replaced people in many positions.

This is necessary because of competition overseas; especially with countries like China using cheap, even slave labor. The robots have an advantage over those unfortunates trapped in their gulags; however, they are more productive and more cost effective. They do need someone to operate and service them at the factory level though.

This has led to many new jobs openings. But you need to have technical skills and the aptitude for the work. Many people with construction skills have gone to trade and technical schools. These same people also have the aptitude to go back to a technical school for additional skills, especially since jobs for new construction have taken such a hit in this recession.

There are thousands of jobs literally waiting for people with the right skills. And the advantage of a technical school for those needing new skills is that many can be completed in a shorter period of time than college. Also, the costs are less.

Before you apply though, it’s important that you talk to an expert about what is necessary for you to complete at a technical school to improve your chances of employment. Use the word “mission critical” to describe the nature of the manufacturing job you are looking to fill and ask what qualifications you will need.

The advantage of construction experience is that it’s good for use on a resume in manufacturing and you will feel more at home in the right technical school since you have had experience with tools. Remember though that the diversity in the number of jobs and kinds of education needed are as wide as what you would find between an electrician and a mason.


Jeffrey Ruzicka

Jeffrey Ruzicka is a retired executive of a small company that specializes in industrial water treatment. He lives happily with his wife in Western Pennsylvania and is a contributing writer to FinancialJobBank, FinancialJobBankBlog, ConstructionJobForce, ConstructionJobForceBlog and Nexxt.


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