Much has been written about the manufacturing skills gap and the steps companies are taking to solve it. One increasingly popular solution is to provide the necessary training to workers. Usually this happens offsite at local community colleges or workforce development agencies, but lately some especially ambitious manufacturers have been attempting to train potential employees in-house.
Stacey Doty, HR director at Schweitzer, helps design training, education and other programs to solve the problem of a manufacturing skills gap. Schweitzer Engineering hangs big posters on the walls that show the steps in career paths for assemblers to follow the success of Ressa, the Troyers and others. And the company is developing an apprenticeship program where workers can apply to gain experience in positions outside of manufacturing in areas such as sales, operations, technical fields and leadership. “There’s no one way to develop your people,” Doty says. “It takes various methods and opportunities.” For Schweitzer Engineering, most of that is happening under its own roof.