July 2, 2014
Metal fabricators fear that a negative image is preventing the next generation from considering manufacturing as a career choice. What's the best way to combat that? Let metal fabricators share their stories. They love their profession, and as a result, they can help others to love fabricating as well.
Have you had a chance to see The FABRICATOR’s supplement in the June 2014 issue: “The Present and Future of Metal Fabrication”? The industry research project, pulled together with the support of Amada America Inc., takes a look at the true engine of the metal fabrication industry—the people.
Having traveled across the U.S., and even to other parts of the world, I have found that the people of this industry make it a joy to cover. They are bright, humble, and incredibly friendly. They are proud of their profession and typically want to assist in promoting manufacturing as a career choice.
That should come as no surprise, particularly as the special report revealed that fabricators think a negative connotation about manufacturing in general is the biggest detriment to enticing others to pursue a career in metal fabricating. Thirty percent of the just over 200 survey respondents indicated just that. Lack of proper training (18 percent) and salary/wages (17 percent) are were cited as other detriments.
So what’s the best way to combat this problem? You have the people of the industry step forward and make the case to those who might be interested. That’s easily done because metal fabricators love what they do. When asked how they would describe their career in the metal fabrication industry, 33 percent said they were deeply satisfied and 66 percent said they were satisfied. When asked if they would recommend metal fabricating as a career choice to a friend or a family member, 37 percent said they would highly recommend the field, and 43 percent said that they would somewhat recommend.
“I think people have this notion that manufacturing is just smoke, sludge, waste, and dirtiness. Our vision for our company is to have one of the cleanest, [close to] zero-net-carbon-footprint facilities that we can have,” said Eddie Garcia in a small profile in the industry research report. He and his brother Bryan help run AG Machining, a contract sheet metal fabricator in Moorpark, Calif. Eddie and Bryan are 28 years old.
Eddie Garcia understands the benefits, and just by chatting with us, he is helping to spread the word. Fabricators love their work, and others will learn to love it as well.