Overcoming the skills gap

Author:Alan Richter


The difference in the skills required on the job and the actual skills job candidates possess—the skills gap—has been a topic of discussion since I started covering metal cutting and grinding more than 16 years ago, and its origin probably dates back at least to the time when carbon steel was the primary cutting tool material.

Whether the cause is a lack of proper education for industrial trades at schools, inadequate compensation, a feeling that those running manufacturing companies mistreat their employees (see first letter in the Letters to the Editor section on page 18) or some other reason is open to debate. Nonetheless, people continue to proactively do something about overcoming the skills gap, and I’d like to highlight two such efforts.

After developing a four-page piece titled “Machining a Great Career Path” and receiving a positive reply to its posting on the website for his local SME chapter, Matt Schowalter wanted to make his story, his six steps to success and insightful information about machining more accessible to interested students. To help achieve this, he launched the website machiningcareer.com earlier this year. The site includes a blog about information that Schowalter feels could be helpful to a student.

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