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Philadelphia Inquirer: Why high-tech machinists will be in demand in Philly region

NTMA featured in Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Saturday, December 03, 2016
While high-tech jobs attract the headlines, some of the most in-demand jobs in the next decade might be in an unexpected sector: manufacturing.
A 2015 report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute forecasts nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade, and two million are expected to go unfilled due to a lack of skilled candidates.
Despite booming demand, relatively few young people are entering these specialized professions. The labor shortage in the sector, specifically for machinists, will become particularly acute as baby boomers begin to retire. Hiring, training, and retaining machinists are also proving to be a challenge.
Machinists shape metal to produce parts for use in many fields, from helicopter rotors to table forks. The increasingly precise nature of the work requires exact measurement, and fabrication of machine parts has helped drive the computerization of the workplace.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the modern machinist will require command of specialized fields such as "mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures."
To address this gap, the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association and Choice Careers LLC worked with community colleges and vocational high schools across the region to establish an apprenticeship program to train current and future machinists.
"Younger workers are being left out of the growing demand for low- to mid-skilled labor due to either being underqualified exiting high schools or overburdened with student debt for more general degrees," said Kevin Mulcahy, a Babson College instructor, Harvard Business School coach, and coauthor of The Future Workplace. "An apprenticeship system would certainly be one way to close the growing skills gaps."
(Read more here.)