Hiring & Retaining Skilled Machinists & Welders
Pick up any trade magazine and chances are you’ll read about the gathering storm of skilled labor shortages – a steady attrition of experienced craftsmen who are retiring or leaving with not enough younger workers to take their place. In fact, the August issue of Power magazine included a startling infographic about the workforce woes in the power generation sector. Their prediction: that sector will need to replace 58 percent of the plant and field operators and 53 percent of the engineers over the next decade. That’s significant turnover!
Even at Climax, we’ve experienced the skills shortage, and so have many of our customers who rely on highly skilled machinists and welders to repair and maintain their heavy equipment. To try to mitigate the impact on our own business and the business of our customers, we’ve implemented a couple successful programs. First, we opened the Climax Global Learning Center more than 30 years ago as a center for ongoing education, training and continuous improvement that any of our customers can send their machinists and welders to. Second, we work closely with local community colleges near our global headquarters in Oregon to train next-generation machinists and welders so that they can keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements in portable and automated tools.
If your company is looking to expand workforce training, consider this: on today’s jobsites, many repair and maintenance projects involve both adding and removing metal. To cross-train machinists and welders on other tools, Climax created a 2 or 5 day course that teaches them machines they don’t already know how to operate. For example, if they are proficient with a portable boring machine or flange facer, machinists can attend a course on portable linear mills or valve repair machines. Lately, we’ve also received requests from companies to teach their welders machining and how to operate the auto-cladding machine, and found that to be a highly successful program.
The workforce shortage is real, but there are steps you can take around training to minimize the impact. Business owners and managers who invest in workforce training not only reap productivity gains, but they have a better chance of attracting and retaining staff and in getting new business. And when your resources are maxed out, Climax can help: we create custom training program for organizations through our Global Learning Center, and can train your machinists and welders on operator safety, tool set-up and operations, maintenance procedures, etc. And, if you want to take your own training to the next level, we also can do more advanced seminars on lean principles and community involvement around training/internships. Call Climax today at (800) 333-8311 to discuss your workforce training needs and we’ll develop a program that’s right for you.