Since when do we sit back and wait?
Within some of the talk regarding economic expansion and re-shoring, there is discussion about the lack of skilled workers. They say that available talent is hampering business growth. They also say that if re-shoring happened at the same rate that off-shoring did, companies would be in trouble.
Most small to medium size companies did not get started or survive their infancy by sitting back and waiting for things to happen. They took initiative and purpose to attacking problems and solving them. Work force is another of those problems that business leaders need to attack. We cannot sit back and wait for the workforce to catch up.
We need to engage the potential workforce, showing what manufacturing has to offer. Open your plants to the public. Let’s show what manufacturing is about and has to offer. Substantial careers, meaningful work and above average pay.
We need to engage the educational system, realign their mission to help students attain the knowledge base they need to support themselves. Schools, be they secondary or post-secondary, some years ago started offering what their perceived customers (students) wanted rather than what they needed. The perfect metaphor is the balanced meal. For nutritional value, the types and portions of food are established. Ask a kid what he/she would prefer, the plate would be shy on vegetables and large on cake. Most parents know better and serve the correct portions. As business people, we can help educational institutions sell the reasons for more math, science, and communications. The bottom line is institutions knowing what is better for students and standing behind it.
The way to ensure growth is to go out and make the workforce we need, rather than waiting for it to appear after some cajoling.