February 27, 2020

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Inside Indiana Business: Building Our Future Workforce

NTMA mentioned in Inside Indiana Business article.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

So who is responsible for making sure today’s students are prepared for tomorrow's jobs? Ask different people and you’ll get different answers. The truth is that responsibility doesn't fall to any one individual or organization but instead rests in widespread community collaborative effort.

Traditionally, the bulk of that burden has fallen to our schools and the teachers, administrators and guidance counselors. They’ve been tasked with giving students a broad knowledge base, helping students hone specific skills, identifying student interests and encouraging career paths that align with those special skills and knowledge.

Parents play a critical role too, often influencing and guiding students as they seek to answer that age old question of "what they want to be when they grow up?" Parents also provide that crucial home support base that supplements the work going on in the schools with their children.

And businesses are recognizing they also must help develop that pipeline of workers. A recovering economy with low unemployment has left a fierce competition for talent. As the quality of applications for open positions has deteriorated, businesses know that the status quo won’t do and that the time is now to roll up their sleeves and make sure future employees know about opportunities in particular industries.

Many of yesterday’s most reliable positions and industries are finding it hard to attract young talent to open opportunities. Positions like manufacturing workers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades are currently filled by an aging workforce that will need to be replaced in the near future.

The nature of many of the positions has changed over the years and the perception of those jobs doesn’t always match-up with the current reality. Last week in St. Joseph County, four school corporations, thirty businesses and more than six hundred students came together to help change that perception on Manufacturing Day 2016.

The local effort was organized through a partnership that includes the Chamber, National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) Michiana Chapter, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue Polytechnic South Bend, South Bend Community School Corporation Career & Technical Education, Career Academy, Mishawaka High School, Penn High School and many manufacturers and supporting organizations who hosted tours and shared their stories with students.

Read more here.