Additive Manufacturing

JUL 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 60

MEMBER PROFILE SMARTFORCE CATEGORY: E Education SMARTFORCE JULY 2018 Additive Manufacturing 26 If you attend a graduation ceremony or graduation party for a family member or friend, we ask one favor: Suggest an education and career pathway in manufacturing. Do you remember the movie The Graduate, particularly the pool- side advice that Mr. McGuire gave to Ben Braddock? "I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics. There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it? Okay. Enough said. That's a deal." Mr. McGuire gave good advice at the time that the movie was released in 1967. Plastics would have been one of many up-and- coming technology disruptions in the late '60s. Now, with your years of experience in the manufacturing indus- try, put yourself in Mr. McGuire's shoes (or as Ms. McGuire, as the case may be). What advice would you give to a new graduate—or to any middle school or high school students for that matter—as well as to their parents? My advice for the past few years has been this: "mechatronics." But I don't stop at just that one word. Mechatronics is to this generation of graduates what plastics might have been to the generation of graduates some 50 years ago. Mecha- tronics is defined as a multidisciplinary field of science that includes mechanical engineering, electronics, com- puter engineering, telecommunications engineering, systems engineering and control engineering. Whether a student wants to become a mechatron- ics technician or an engineer, they have the choice to attend a program to earn a two-year associate degree and industry-recognized credential at a community college or a four-year bach- elor's degree at a college or university. And the jobs will be there for them when they graduate from their post secondary education. We're all aware that a skills gap exists in manufacturing. Data from the largest consulting firms in the United States sug- gest that the skills gap will grow from an average of about 320,000 open positions per month to about 2 million by 2025. Most recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the gap was 460,000 in February—a sign that the gap may be suddenly widening. The skills gap is continuing to widen for a number of reasons. First, there are about 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day now and companies are not doing enough to incentivize them to stay on the job a little longer to act as mentors for the next generation. In addition, new innovations and new technologies are growing at an accelerating pace. Disruptive technologies like additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics and other advances in automaton, data science, machine learn- ing, and artificial intelligence make it clear that the education market needs to catch up with these technologies. Fundamentally, though, the skills gap is widening because there are still not enough young people seeking an education in STEM and a career pathway into manufacturing. In Smartforce Development at AMT, we're always working to change that dynamic. The Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS is one of our big opportunities to impress students and change perceptions about careers in manufacturing among educators, administrators and parents. This September, mechatronics and the digital factory will be front and center at the summit. Our industry's vision of the STEM and manufacturing classroom of the future will be on full display. We hope that you will suggest to schools in your area that they attend the summit. And we hope you'll continue to have that conversation about mechatronics and other ca- reers in manufacturing with this next generation of students. To watch the scene from The Graduate, search for "The Graduate one word: Plastics" on YouTube. Mr. McGuire's advice could have been something like Google or You- Tube or iPhone or… Think about how many jobs those disruptive companies and technologies have created. Now, think about additive and collaborative and data and connectivity with sensors and AI. That's how quickly we get to 2 million unfilled jobs. For more frequent updates about Smartforce Development, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter. A Modern-Day Refresh on The Graduate By Gregory Jones Vice President – Smartforce Development AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Additive Manufacturing - JUL 2018