On July 25 from 10-11:30 a.m. the Euclid Chamber of Commerce is holding CRASE: Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event presented by the Euclid Police Department for Euclid businesses at the Lincoln Electric Welding & Technology Center, 22800 St. Clair Ave., Euclid, Ohio.
In the last two years, there have been 50 active shooter incidents in the United States; four occurred in Ohio; 17 occurred in a business environment. This presentation can be helpful to business owners, human resources managers, security personnel, employees or anyone interested in learning more. Information presented may be useful when developing active-shooter policies and procedures for the workplace. Resources will be provided.
This event is free, and you do not need to be a chamber member to attend. Registration is required.
In 1904, George Hewlett founded Cleveland Union Engineering Company in Cleveland’s Flats area. The company handled industrial metal manufacturing, welding, fabrication and steel erection. Hewlett’s daughter married John Geiger, who is the grandfather of the current owner, also John Geiger, and great-grandfather of Jake who also works for the company. In the 1920s, it began to develop and build equipment for the distillery and brewing industries to clean and pasturize milk jugs and beer bottles, hence a name change to Beverage Engineering. In the 1940s, it moved to its current location on Lakewood Heights Boulevard and transitioned its focus from beverage machines to machining for the war effort, and in 1957 it found its current incarnation as Beverage Machine & Fabricators, Inc. What do these changes signify? Adaptability! And, Beverage Machine has found its niche.
Though the company no longer is part of the beverage machine industry, it has continued its journey in the metalworking industry and now machines (cuts or finishes) hard-to-machine metal parts made from inconel, monel, stainless steel and titanium. It also has larger machines that can handle bigger, heavier pieces (up to 10 feet in diameter and 24,000 pounds) for the steel, energy, power, mining, nuclear, aerospace and defense industries. For example, it did a project for SpaceX last year, a company that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Beverage Machine also only handles one-off pieces and smaller orders rather than high-volume production. Its orders range from one to 25 pieces at a time. Five years ago, it added waterjet cutting to its capability, which broke the company out of traditional metal machining. Using the waterjet, the company has done work for sign and glass companies and machined the glass awards for last year’s Tri-C JazzFest. With one piece of equipment, it expanded capacity and its customer base.
All of Beverage Machine’s customers are regional, and they are served by only 16 employees. The company mainly employees machinists and is looking to and is willing to train a suitable candidate. Josh Smith, Beverage Machine’s waterjet technician, says that the impact on today’s labor problem started years ago when schools did away with shop programs and put the focus on college prep. He’s worked for the company for 16 years, and his dad has been the plant manager for 25 years. He says, “When I went to school, the perception was that JVS [joint vocational school] was where the stoners and illiterates went and that everyone who can think goes to college.” He says that in five years everyone in the industry will be retiring, and there’s going to be a shortage of skilled labor. He adds that the industry has to reach students when they are 11 or 12 to show them that jobs in manufacturing are cool and innovative. To that end, he has started “ThinkSpark,” a grassroots movement to create a foundation in Lorain County to inspire and mentor youth to consider careers in manufacturing, to partner with schools and connect children with technical programs, to develop a makerspace for youth in the program, and to create a robotic competition similar to AWT’s RoboBots that takes place every April at Lakeland Community College.
John Geiger relates that the manufacturing industry in the area is healthy, but that his biggest challenge, which is the same for all manufacturers, is finding skilled labor or even unskilled labor who are interested in technical training. Recently, he met with representatives from Lorain County Community College about bringing students in for an apprenticeship training program.
From Founder John Geiger to his son, John Geiger, a machinist, to his son, John Geiger, a history major and sales specialist, to his son, John, aka Jake, Geiger, a business management major, the company has stayed in the hands of this capable family for four generations. John says about his business, “There is enough domestic need, and our niche gives us enough work. China can’t serve these industries because customers have a part dependency and need it today.” He shares, “I get satisfaction in seeing what we create every day. It’s a tangible result.” His son, Jake, adds, “It’s rewarding to have a part come in and see the finished part leave the shop.” As Josh Smith sums up, “What sets John apart is that he can see the greater good and a need. He sees what we can do for the next generation. It’s not about making money. It’s about family.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Fran Stewart, Ph.D., author of The STEM Dilemma: Skills That Matter to Regions via The MPI Group)
Engineers are the world’s problem solvers, but will creating more of them fix what ails some regions?
Policymakers must think so.
The pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees is no longer simply one of personal interest or professional ambition; it is now also considered an economic imperative and public priority for regions. Changes in the curricula (and even names) of local schools, as well as state and federal education spending, reflect a clear policy assumption: Local economies benefit when scientists make discoveries, engineers solve problems, and computer experts program solutions. The places that can attract or develop these professionals are seen as potential winners in today’s technology-driven economy.
The certainty of this conventional wisdom drives countless interventions targeted at growing local STEM “pipelines.” Yet, an important question remains: Does a greater supply of STEM-degreed workers actually generate economic gains for regional economies? New research suggests that (largely) imitative efforts to expand the ranks of STEM workers may not work — because they neglect important differences in regional demand for these skills, as well as the importance of other skill sets for regional competitive advantage.
Why? Because implicit in many STEM initiatives is the belief that a larger pool of workers educated in STEM will lead to the technological innovations, new products, and new processes that drive employment growth and economic well-being. Yet, it’s unclear whether mastery of specific technical skills creates new products and markets, or if entrepreneurial talents — recognizing trends, envisioning opportunities, assessing risk, and persisting in the face of obstacles — are what really generate growth. Focusing solely on technical aspects of innovation minimizes the importance of other skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, communication, and resilience. Research indicates that:
Not all STEM jobs require a college degree.
STEM is more than just scientists, engineers, and software developers. Many technical and mechanical jobs, such as electro-mechanical technicians, industrial production managers and computer numerically-controlled-machine programmers, require advanced STEM capabilities. These STEM jobs are associated with higher regional wages and other measures of regional economic well-being.
STEM investment may not bring employment growth.
Despite the benefits associated with a higher concentration of regional employment in STEM jobs, investing in STEM talent as an economic development strategy isn’t necessarily a jobs program. Why? Because occupations with higher STEM requirements tend to employ disproportionately fewer workers.
Not all high-paying jobs require STEM degrees or skills.
Occupations with higher STEM requirements tend to pay higher wages, but so do occupations demanding high-level “soft” skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and communication). The occupations that pay the highest wages are those requiring both high STEM and high soft skills. These occupations include scientists, engineers, software applications developers, and doctors, but also industrial production managers, science teachers, and certain business operations specialists. In addition, some occupations that require high-level soft skills but low-level STEM skills — chief executives, managers, lawyers, teachers, financial advisers and mental health counselors — reward workers with higher wages.
Highly skilled STEM jobs benefit regions, but so do ones requiring high levels of soft skills.
A region may see improved economic well-being from promoting STEM skill development, but regions also can benefit from focusing on soft-skill development. In my study, regions with greater concentrations of workers in high-level soft-skill/low-level STEM-skill jobs tended to enjoy higher median wages and per capita incomes. This suggests the need for greater policy focus on the development of valuable soft skills, which often cut across a large variety of occupations.
Low-skill, low-wage jobs predominate in most regions.
Economic development policy focuses largely on growing the supply of workers to fill “high-skill” jobs that benefit regional economies; not enough attention is being paid to the effects of low-skill work. More than half of all U.S. employment is relatively low-skill, and large concentrations of low-skill employment drag down regional economic well-being. Regions with a higher share of low-level STEM-skill and low-level soft-skill employment tend to have lower wages, less economic growth, lower productivity, and lower per capita incomes. These relatively low-skill occupations — which include work in food services, retail and home health care — play important roles in regional economies and provide thousands of essential jobs, but their limited pay and benefits present significant challenges not just for individual workers, but for communities, as well.
Regions differ in their demand for skills.
The region in my study with the largest share of employment accounted for by engineers, scientists, software developers, and similar STEM occupations had five times more STEM employment than the region with the smallest share of these occupations. Some regions have nearly 60 percent of their employment in occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree, whereas other regions have 60 percent or more of their employment in low-skill occupations. Wide variation in skill concentrations and educational attainment reflect differences in regional industrial mixes and heritages. Despite the largely universal goal of growing the supply of high-skill workers, these differences continue to shape the demand for talent and the well-being of regions in different ways.
Imitative policies may not pay off.
Place-based initiatives that aim to grow the supply of STEM workers to spur economic development run the risk that the newly developed human capital investments (or, skilled workers) won’t stay local. Well-educated young workers tend to be highly mobile, meaning they often take their in-demand skills elsewhere without rewarding jobs, emotional attachments, or area amenities to hold them. In other words, regions may inadvertently develop talent that ultimately benefits other regions. It’s important to remember that while a failure to invest in human capital is risky, it may be even riskier to invest in skills that don’t align with the talent needs of the region’s industrial mix.
The challenge for policymakers and economic development practitioners at local and state levels is how to craft programs and strategies that support the specific talent needs of their regional economies — building on existing industrial assets while identifying new opportunities for growth. The opportunities for workers and regions with the right mix of talent and luck are extraordinary; the speed with which technology is reinventing work environments and demands for talent is equally breathtaking. But the same technologies that are disrupting the workplace also can facilitate better understanding of job demands and skill concentrations, which enables cheaper, quicker, more accessible, and better-targeted pathways to developing necessary skills and knowledge. Regions need to take stock of their own assets and invest wisely — not just imitate the STEM efforts of others.
On Mar. 20, a group of educators, manufacturers, state liaisons and manufacturing nonprofits met at Lorain County Community College for its “Power of Apprenticeship” conference. Keynote Speaker Denise Ball of Tooling U-SME gave an enlightening presentation on the Zs and Millennials, our future workforce, and how communicate effectively with them in order to attract and retain new talent as well as the need for intergenerational training. Chrissy Cooney, outreach specialist for LCCC, presented an industry panel via video that included a manufacturing company, an apprenticeship trainer at that company and two apprentices in the program. She also presented an overview of how a state-registered apprenticeship program works, including the $2,500 stipend for employers participating in the program. For more information about the Z and Millennial generations or to receive a whitepaper on the topic of the Millennials, contact Denise Ball of Tooling U at 866.706.8665. For information about LCCC’s assistance with an apprenticeship program, contact Tammy Jenkins at 440.366.4833 or Chrissy Cooney at 440.366.4325.
Click here to register for Lorain County Community College’s “The Power of Apprenticeships” event on Mar. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m at LCCC’s Spitzer Center Room 117/118 at 1005 N. Abbe Rd., Elyria, Ohio. Here’s the agenda. All manufacturers are welcome! You should attend if you are interested in a state-registered apprenticeship program that helps employers upskill incumbent workers and allows them to hire unskilled workers who will become highly skilled workers. HGR Industrial Surplus will be there.
8:30 – 9 a.m. – Breakfast and Networking
9:00 a. m. – Welcome
9:05 – 10 a.m. – Keynote Speaker
Denise Ball of Tooling U-SME,
“Z’s & Millennials – Your Future Workforce”
10:00 – 10:15 a. m. – What Industry has to Say?
Introduction of Apprentice Ohio team:
Erich Hetzel – Apprenticeship Service Provider
Georgianna Lowe – Field Operations Supervisor
10:15 – 10:30 a.m. – Break; Snacks and Beverages
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Learn how a Registered Apprenticeship Program works
On Monday, Dec. 12, a roomful of manufacturers, educators, political leaders, nonprofits and others gathered, according to Jason Drake of the WorkRoom Alliance Program, “to initiate a discussion about curriculum and programming in the service of workforce and to start developing a strategic plan that will help refill the talent pipeline for local companies.” He adds that “our ultimate goal is to bring as many local, state and federal assets into alignment to support an educational program for public schools that emphasizes foundational mechanical skills, career awareness and counseling, robust and diverse work-based learning experiences in career clusters with significant opportunities available in the local job market, and protocols to pave smoother pathways from classrooms to careers.”
WorkRoom Alliance Program is working to create maker spaces as neighborhood cornerstones in order to upskill and reskill youth and adults in the skills needed by manufacturers. The organization is partnering with Cleveland Job Corps, a residential training center with a capacity to house 440 students aged 16-24 where they can go for no-cost technical and academic training for two years with one year of job-placement assistance. The third partner is Dan T. Moore Companies, a portfolio of 18 R&D companies that find and solve unmet industrial needs.
Dan Moore states, “We can’t get enough qualified people with mechanical aptitude to apply for the jobs that there are. And, with manufacturing as the fastest growing component of Ohio’s economy, we need machine operators who can do advanced manufacturing, not engineers.”
The group, with a host of member companies, is seeking to put in place a plan, locally, to introduce students to the foundational skills for a mechanical mindset starting in the fifth grade and continuing through high school and beyond. Its goal is to open a training bay at Cleveland Job Corps with a manufacturing facility and curriculum that align with the local job market’s needs. Job Corps will fully fund the program if Cleveland Workforce Summit partners will supply the equipment. This program will offer pre-apprenticeship training. Students then can go to apprenticeship training programs through organizations such as WIRE-Net and/or college to earn stackable credentials.
Jack Schron of Jergens Inc. adds, “Our goal is to make Northeast Ohio the entrepreneurial maker and manufacturing capital of the country.”
If you are interested in participating as a partner in the Cleveland Workforce Summit, hosting tours for students or supplying equipment, Jason Drake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the retirement of the Baby Boomers approaching, many manufacturing and machinist jobs will need to be filled. How many? 2.7 million. The problem? Many millennials lack the skills and experience (myself included).
Why be a machinist?
For starters, you DO NOT need a college degree. I have several friends who opted out of attending college, have a steady job and are doing financially well (if you guessed that they’re a welder, you are correct). Second, the average salary of a machinist in the United States is $41,000 to $46,000 (depending on the state in which you live).
No college debt. Almost guaranteed a job immediately. AND starting pay somewhere in the $40,000s. Still interested? I thought so. Keep reading.
Where to get proper training
Okay. So, now I have your attention. Great. Unfortunately you aren’t going to land a machinist’s job once you finish reading this and applying for a position (I mean, you might), but with a little work you will. If you’re still in high school, there is a good chance your school has a STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). If so, enroll. Even if it doesn’t interest you, you’re hurting yourself if you don’t. Who knows, you may love it!
If you’re not in high school (probably 99% of our readers), there is no need to worry. There are PLENTY of ways to get trained and experience to prepare for your future in machining. While it is possible to land a job with no experience, it is recommended to complete an apprenticeship.
In an apprenticeship program, you’ll study anything from machinery trade, operations, CNC programming and much more. These programs can take anywhere from 2-4 years and can be taken at a technical or community college. You may ask how this differs from a college degree, and I don’t blame you. One thing – money. YOU GET PAID TO BE AN APPRENTICE. YOU PAY TO BE A STUDENT. Need I say more?! Didn’t think so.
You completed your apprenticeship. What next? Two options: You can jumpstart into your career as a machinist, OR you can obtain the NIMS Credential (National Institute for Metalworking Skills). This will help you stand out from your competition. Perks of this achievement includes receiving a nationally recognized honor, improved professional image, secured job placement over others and many more. All you have to do is pass an examination, which should come with ease since you just completed a few years of training.
Don’t want an apprenticeship? No worries. Forget about who your best friend is. Google is your new best friend. Use it to your advantage. There are HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of online training classes. Unless you have no Internet access, there is no reason for you to not be able to find online training classes.
Even with all the training you receive, you will never be perfect at the job. That’s why companies require on-the-job training (OJT) to become a highly skilled machinist. All you need to do is land the job. From there on out, your place of employment will take care of you.
Get the training. Get the experience. Get your credentials. Land your dream job. Start earning hard-earned money. Advance your career. Be a machinist.