We have recently seen giant leaps in important fields like medicine, aerospace, and the sports industry, yet what people do not see is the technology and machinery needed to make those advancements—machinery that is often designed and created by machinists themselves. With increasing modernization and new advances in technology, the US needs a strong work base that is well trained in technical and mechanical fields. To help encourage current students to pursue technical/mechanical degrees, the manufacturing industry (and a few other unlikely sources), are offering programs and scholarships to prospective students. With increased involvement from the industry, Leading Edge Industrial (LEI) believes that more young people will be excited about future machinist careers.
Who is Pushing the Industry Forward?
To help encourage today’s youth, many companies in the industry are working with schools and young adults to educate them about the benefits and unique skills that can come with a machinist career. Listed below are the ways in which some corporations and groups are making a difference.
- Founding Partner Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International: On the first Friday of every October, Manufacturing Day is celebrated throughout the US. This day is dedicated to educating people on the roles of manufacturing, as well as discussing possible solutions to the labor shortage found in this field. During this day, many companies open their doors to schools, and many guest speakers lecture about the unique benefits of a machinist career—encouraging prospective students to pursue a technical profession.
- Caterpillar: A big name in the manufacturing industry, Caterpillar offers many scholarships for manufacturing engineering, as well as sponsorships. By sponsoring events like the Professional Bull Riders Series and some OCEARCH expeditions, Caterpillar can reach and influence people to pursue jobs in the technical field.
- The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): Every year, a Student Manufacturing Design Competition is sponsored by the ASME, in which individual students or groups can submit a creative design that relates to the manufacturing field. This competition is a great way to spark interest in manufacturing, as well as teach prospective technical students new ideas and techniques.
- Metallica: Yes, you read that right. Not only does Metallica have a love for heavy metal, but they also support the manufacturing industry. Metallica recently donated $100,000 to Grand Rapids Community College to help the college launch a new welding program that will offer features like small class sizes and career preparation—helping to increase interest in the manufacturing industry.
- American Center for Student Run Manufacturing Businesses (ACSMB): The ASCMB is a non-profit organization that operates in five high schools throughout the US. The ASCMB functions as a machinist business—giving students real-world experience while using the proceeds from the work they create to buy new machinery and sustain their shops. With programs like the ACSMB, students are able to actively create products, which teaches them teamwork, method, and design.
All the groups mentioned above, along with countless others, are encouraging young students to pursue careers in the manufacturing industry—increasing attention on the benefits of a technical/mechanical career, while helping to dispel stigmas, such as manufacturing is “gritty,” or “unworthy” work. With more involvement from the industry, we hope to see an increase in the number of students interested in the manufacturing field.
At Leading Edge Industrial, we understand what is crucial to foster student interest in the mechanical/technical fields in order to advance ingenuity, creativity, and innovation in the years to come. This is why LEI provides affordable, portable, and easy to operate CNC machines from our HX Series II, including the HX8610 VMC and the HX710 TC, along with our Low Profile Vise, which is our premier low profile workholding solution that pairs with our HX series I/II line—perfect for schools wishing to advance their shop classes. With access to machinery and increased support from the industry, we hope to see a rise in students pursuing manufacturing careers.