Additive Manufacturing

JAN 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.

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Page 19 of 43

S M A RT FO R CE JANUARY 2018 Additive Manufacturing 18 CATEGORY: E Education I read. A lot. And no, I don't mean that I read a lot of emails every day. I mean that I read a lot of white papers, I read a lot of legislation around workforce development issues, and of course, I read a lot of books around my personal and profes- sional interests. Sometimes, I wonder how much of the information that I read passes through my own personal and professional filters, and how much is roadblocked by those filters. Often, as I'm reading white papers on workforce develop- ment, I see pieces of data that I absorb and add to my profes- sional frame of reference. At the same time, I'll see something written that does not agree with my frame of reference and I'll dismiss that piece of data, chalking it up to: "If the author or researchers only had more direct knowledge of manufactur- ing, interviewed or surveyed different respondents, and maybe even had better facts to begin with, they'd certainly come to a different conclusion." Let me give you an example. As more and more white papers are written about changes in workforce needs and the future of workforce development brought on by disruptions in technology (driven by Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, etc.), we're seeing more authors conclude that robotics and automa- tion will be doing away with the majority of low-skilled jobs. I don't disagree that robots will replace workers in envi- ronments that are better suited to machines than humans, like automotive paint booths and welding assembly lines. However, I happen to agree with the data from the Robotics Industry Asso- ciation (RIA) which says that for every robot sold in the U.S., five jobs have been created in design, production, manufacturing, sales, installation, service and support: an overall net gain in jobs. I've written previously about an experience that I had my senior year in college. I attended a speech by U.S. Congressio- nal Representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) who said at the time that in 25 years, 50 percent of the jobs that existed then would be replaced by other jobs that hadn't even been invented yet. That speech stuck with me and sure enough, 25 years after I graduated college, I could see that with the invention of new prod- ucts and the advancement of new technologies, jobs that didn't exist 25 years earlier in fact did exist. Think Blackberry salesperson or iPhone app developer, or even Apple Genius Bar Genius. Thanks to the suggestion of my friend and AMT colleague, Dave Burns, I recently read a study on "The Future of Jobs and Skills" from the World Economic Forum. The report said, "65 percent of children entering primary school today will ulti- mately work in completely new job types that don't yet exist." Clearly, that data fit my narrative and made sense to me. I'd witnessed Jack Kemp's prediction coming to fruition and I fully expect this one to stand the test of time as well. When I took on this role in Smartforce Development and began talking to members, I was amazed at how few had an ongoing dialogue with the education institutions, adminis- trators and teachers in their local community. For me, that ongoing dialogue is key to solving the skills gap, but of the current respondents to The World Economic Forum report, only 20 percent said that one of their key approaches includes partnerships with public institutions and the education sector. If there is one strategy that you use in your own communi- ty, make sure to work closely with your local educators. It matters what we do with the data. It matters how we filter the good, bad or indifferent data. It matters how we make value judgements. It matters to be proactive about it so that we can provide the best guidance and direction. Do we stop training and credentialing machinists today because we think that robotic button pushers will be replacing them any day now? Certainly not. Do we have to look forward to where the manufacturing workforce is going as a result of or in preparation for new products, new innovations and new technologies? Certainly. Will we be listening to our members for input? Absolutely. We're less than a year out from the next Smartforce Stu- dent Summit at IMTS 2018. Stay tuned for our plans to con- nect with students on how Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, etc. will change the future of their careers in manufacturing. For comments, please contact Greg at or for more frequent updates on Smartforce Development, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter. Can You Cherry- Pick the Data? By Gregory Jones Vice President – Smartforce Development AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology

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