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Thread: Another "shortage of machinists" story...

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    Milacron's Avatar
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    Big B is online now Hot Rolled
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    Sounds to me like these companies might need to start thinking of doing there own training.

    Big B

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    I have no pity for many of these companies.

    Supply and demand: Need the workers? Pay more. Sucks if accounting 'only budgeted for $15/hour'. I only budgeted $10,000 for a car. Ford hasn't dropped my 'Stang off yet...

    Also, HR departments are clueless, and filter out all sorts of qualified applcants because they don't have the magic buzzwords or narrow skillset on the resume. There are such things as transferable skills.

    I know a farm kid with tractor repair experience, some mechanical assembly experience, and experience programming macros for spreadsheets (farms are complicated these days). He could slide right into a CNC operator position with minimal training. G43, G54, M8, etc. He would get in a day, and some company would be happy that he knows how to tighten a bolt.

    I know a soon-to-be theatre major who would do quality work, but "built set and lit a production of XYZ Play" doesn't cut it with HR, even if the grid had 200-300 amps of lamps hanging, even if he was trusted to rig a fly system...

    I know an artist who hand-carves and hand-registers multiple printing blocks against eachother to a few thou...And would have no trouble getting a part properly against the vise stop. Right there is half the battle for many entry-level CNC operator trainees.

    These companies need to start looking at transferable skills, personality traits (attention to detail, quick comprehension, not on meth etc.), and stop letting HR use buzzwords or overly strict skills criteria to screen people. Yes, they might take some training, but the right people are ready, willing and waiting for the opportunity.

    Oh, and supply/demand. It changes wages...Not just for C-level MBAs.

    /rant.

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    Chobyn is offline Cast Iron
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    “The problem is as soon as we get someone in, one of our other guys will jump ship,” said Tyson De Jonge, engineering manager at Engine Power Components. “They get better offers.”

    Gotta love this closing line in the article....If they are getting better offers and you want to keep them, then counter offer something good.
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    bryan_machine is online now Titanium
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    Welcome to the world of computers and computer controlled devices, where somebody with a clue can do enourmous productive good, somebody without a clue can make a mess in a hurry.

    It's been common thought inside the software industry for about 4 decades now that computers would eventually be one of the truly dominant technologies in most every field.

    Eventually has arrived for most things. Cars, cameras, phones, TVs, medicine, to some degree law, and other things I don't know about, are very dependent on them.

    I guess the wave is finally reaching the rest of manufacturing....

    The good news is that the sort of person who could make molds by hand, or diesets on manual machines, can surely learn to use CNC tools to do those tasks.

    And of course, if $21/hr is a "good wage for the area" then $30 will likely attract some great talent.

    (Oh, and by the way, some sample observations of people begging on street corners around Seattle suggests some of them are making more than $21 and perhaps more than $30 per hour. Hard to know if that's sustained, that's just what we guessed. But here's a hint - if begging on the corner yields $20 per hour, $18/hour won't really attract top talent.)

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    bryan_machine is online now Titanium
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    Default And I wonder if people aren't grokking the rules change

    There are a number of stories out now about how there is a shortage for people with this skill or that skill. And how people with long experience in those industries don't have those skills.

    Almost always accompanied by whining about how $X an hour is a great wage for the area but nobody shows up, and they cannot afford the $Z that somebody truly expert would require.

    And I'm starting to wonder if some of these businesses (which I don't know in person) are somehow stuck in their thinking?

    If you are being brought to your knees for want of welders, why aren't you investing in automated welding of one kind or another?

    Short of machinists - OK, but are you using good programming tools, good process design with good workholding, automation where practical? Are your current people being developed so they can see how to be more efficient? If you aren't making ever more product ever better with the same number of people, you should be worried.

    I don't own or run or even buy from these businesses, and things are often way harder in practice than they are in theory. But jeez folks, has the problem really been thought through?

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    This is an honest question, as I know little about big bid-ness, and it's inner workings, but are the HR depts given a "Budget" for each separate department, and they hire under those constraints? And do they (or at least the ranking HR middle mgr) get a "bonus" for coming in under budget? My point is, I bet the pukes in HR don't have a clue what machinists do, and what they are worth in the market place.
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    sealark37 is online now Hot Rolled
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    Most HR people are disconnected from the reality of the operational needs of the departments in the firm. They seem to consider their "clients" incapable of hiring suitable employees for their own requirements. They rely on surveys of area pay rates by various associations to set target pay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBurnette View Post
    Supply and demand: Need the workers? Pay more. Sucks if accounting 'only budgeted for $15/hour'.
    These articles are starting to get creepy. It's almost like they believe if they keep publishing articles about the dearth of machinist jobs at $15/hour, that they'll reset the norm.

    I also notice that almost all these jobs are for CNC operators, not machinists.

    "Pay for skilled operator-programmers runs from $18 to $28 per hour;
    ...
    A Michigan company ... has had ads out for at least six months for CNC machine operators and programmers. The pay runs from $15 to $21 an hour, a relatively good wage in this part of the country."
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    USMCPOP is offline Titanium
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    Not sure what they pay, but Rolls-Royce has a new plant in the county and they are investing some $$ by providing new machinery for the local community college. They gave them a new Mazak horizontal machining center (Nexus 4000-II) worth maybe $200K. I think they are providing a new CMM as well. My son is taking the Mazak class now. His instructor is quite young and I don't think he has any Mazak experience - he's a student intern. Just read the manual.

    John Tyler Community College - JTCC and Rolls-Royce Partner to Build Regional Workforce in Advanced Manufacturing

    John Tyler gets 11-ton teaching aid with Rolls-Royce's help - News - Progress-Index

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    77ironhead is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by USMCPOP View Post
    Not sure what they pay, but Rolls-Royce has a new plant in the county and they are investing some $$ by providing new machinery for the local community college. They gave them a new Mazak horizontal machining center (Nexus 4000-II) worth maybe $200K. I think they are providing a new CMM as well. My son is taking the Mazak class now. His instructor is quite young and I don't think he has any Mazak experience - he's a student intern. Just read the manual.
    Now that's downright scary!

    We have a new Mazak at work, as well as 4 others ranging from a 1986 model thru to the new one, and they're good machines, Mazatrol is very user-friendly. That said- the user's manual is pretty damn useless, and without having an instructor that has Mazak experience (or formal Mazak training), a lot of the machine's capabilities will get missed. We don't have any formally-trained Mazak guys at work, they all poked around blind in the dark and got the basics worked out.....
    some of them have 15+ years running Mazak, and when I ask "how do I do 'abc' " the answer is 'dunno, but if you lie to the machine this way, you can do it'.
    All that said, one of the guys I work with ran mastercam-equipped machines at previous employers and says the Mazak is a dream in comparison. Hey, if a Luddite like me can write programs in Mazatrol, anyone can!
    From what you've posted about your boy, he sounds like a pretty sharp cookie, he'll do fine.

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    hickstick_10 is offline Stainless
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    Any time someone needs to dance around what they pay, or justify the wage they do pay, that is the reason why they cannot keep or attract employees. They know they're not being competitive but they're trying to fool themselves more then anyone else.

    The pay runs from $15 to $21 an hour, a relatively good wage in this part of the country.
    High wage spread, and something tells me there's precious few sitting at 21 bucks an hour. Any boss will tell you the higher the spread, the more trouble you will have with your employees, and most places keep it under 5 bucks. Here it is again, a whopping ten dollar spread:
    Pay for skilled operator-programmers runs from $18 to $28 per hour
    Most machinist I know when they are looking to move, trade shops or what have you, look for certain warning signs to know they're not ending up in some hell hole. Phrases like "wage dependant on experience", "succesful applicant can expect to earn between 30 to 90 thousand a year", "wage negotiable" usually mean stear clear, a crooked cheapskate while try to swindle you. Wage negotiable is my favourite, like employers expect to be taken seriousley when they want to dicker the hourly rate at your interview like your buying an old toaster at a garage sale.

    “The problem is as soon as we get someone in, one of our other guys will jump ship,” said Tyson De Jonge, engineering manager at Engine Power Components. “They get better offers.”
    You dont say Tyson?!?!?!?, whatever could you possibly do to stop this hemorrhaging turnover? Do you think your former employees are leaving because there's a "casual friday" at the other shop? What employers dont realize is that word of mouth travels about garbage shops better then any news paper add, if you have alot of former employees out there, you also have alot of people telling others why they left and the people listening (other machinists and co workers) are ones who are going to be hesitant to darken the aformentioned shops doorstep in the future.

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    [Have only read the first few posts so far, but]

    Saw a billboard on 23 on the way home from Columbus yesterday advertising for machinists and welders (I think). Don't recall the name or the town the shop was in. I had hoped to be able to remember - and to post it, but ...

    No mention of pay scale.


    ------------------------

    I scored a row B/center ticket for The Possum for last weekend!

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    Kiwi2wheels is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBurnette View Post
    I have no pity for many of these companies.

    Supply and demand: Need the workers? Pay more. Sucks if accounting 'only budgeted for $15/hour'. I only budgeted $10,000 for a car. Ford hasn't dropped my 'Stang off yet...

    Also, HR departments are clueless, and filter out all sorts of qualified applcants because they don't have the magic buzzwords or narrow skillset on the resume. There are such things as transferable skills.

    I know a farm kid with tractor repair experience, some mechanical assembly experience, and experience programming macros for spreadsheets (farms are complicated these days). He could slide right into a CNC operator position with minimal training. G43, G54, M8, etc. He would get in a day, and some company would be happy that he knows how to tighten a bolt.

    I know a soon-to-be theatre major who would do quality work, but "built set and lit a production of XYZ Play" doesn't cut it with HR, even if the grid had 200-300 amps of lamps hanging, even if he was trusted to rig a fly system...

    I know an artist who hand-carves and hand-registers multiple printing blocks against eachother to a few thou...And would have no trouble getting a part properly against the vise stop. Right there is half the battle for many entry-level CNC operator trainees.

    These companies need to start looking at transferable skills, personality traits (attention to detail, quick comprehension, not on meth etc.), and stop letting HR use buzzwords or overly strict skills criteria to screen people. Yes, they might take some training, but the right people are ready, willing and waiting for the opportunity.

    Oh, and supply/demand. It changes wages...Not just for C-level MBAs.

    /rant.
    That is an excellent summation of THE big problem, the " Human Remains "
    asswipes !! And it's everywhere, both in the US and Europe. The Ivy League MBA types who came up with the HR idea should be shot. Until HR depts are eliminated, manufacturing world wide will continue to go east and any business will struggle to operate at any level of efficiency = profitability.

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    Gary E is online now Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    [Have only read the first few posts so far, but]

    Saw a billboard on 23 on the way home from Columbus yesterday advertising for machinists and welders (I think). Don't recall the name or the town the shop was in. I had hoped to be able to remember - and to post it, but ...

    No mention of pay scale.


    ------------------------

    I scored a row B/center ticket for The Possum for last weekend!
    So YOU're the one responsible fur that trafic jam on 23 ......

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    Barry Weeks is online now Stainless
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    Similar story on the front of the St. Paul paper this morning. Not mentioned is that the "shortage" is a shortage of experienced machinists that want to work 2nd shift for $20/hr.

    http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_20007426

    So yes, I guess there is a shortage when you put it that way.

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    iwananew10K is offline Titanium
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    it really is creepy. that`s an excellent way to put it.
    pay should be trending upwards instead of down.
    free market. supply and demand. whatever.

    i prefer bratwurst...

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    sa100 is offline Hot Rolled
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    I had a boss once tell me that "People don't come to work for money". This innovative concept intrigued me. I mean, here's this fellow, clearly smarter than me (he was the boss, after all), saying something so unintuitive. But, who knows?

    So I replied, "I can see you really believe this, but to say the least, I am skeptical, but willing to be convinced. This is important stuff. We need to do an experiment. You say people don't come to work for the money. Okay, here's what let's do. You sign your paycheck over to me, and I'll dispose of the filthy thing for you. Then, let's meet again in six months or so, and see who comes in the door with a smile on his face and a spring in his step."

    I'm sad to report that my thirst for knowledge about this topic has gone unslaked for over 30 years.

    Dang.

    I have to admit, though, what the guy said is to some extent true. Call a guy a detailer and you'll get him for say, $20/hr for every hour he's on the job. Same job, call him a director, and for $40K/yr you own the fool. Don't say no, folks. I see it happen.

    Me? I don't care to impress people with my amazing job title. I want to impress the cashier at the Super Valu by having enough cash to pay for for the sack of spuds and can of beans in my cart, and maybe the occasional pork chop. But, hey, that's me.

    Steve

    Parting shot:

    The trend today, at least around Detroit, seems to be, 60 hours work for 40 hours pay. My friends say it's the new norm. Me? All I have to sell is my time and what I know. If I start giving it away, what does that say for what I feel it's worth? Oh, I'm not a hardcase. I've worked plenty of casual OT over the years when some unexpected problem popped up and had to be resolved, and I never complained about it. I was even glad to help out. But when the dust settled, I always made sure to take a commensurate amount of time OFF, WITH PAY, to offset the hours worked, and always with the boss' full knowledge if not cheerful agreement. If you start giving it away, you'll get the reputation as an easy lay, and who needs that?

    This is important enough, I'll say it again, in different words:

    NO ONE values what you do more than YOU do.

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    SND
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    I think there's a shortage of good places to work for.

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    Actually all these 1000's of machinist jobs can be summed up like this:

    Williams widgets ltd need another CNC programmer/setter
    Recruitment agency #1 sees this and advertises the job on their website/flyers
    agency #2 sees the ad and the flyer and advertises both jobs
    agency #3 see the flyers for #2 and #1 and the ad from williams widgets....
    and so on...
    ..
    .. (missed out a few steps because I'm lazy)

    agency #34235 advertises all the above positions, then complains it has'nt got enough skilled machinists to fill all the positions.

    Williams widgets then says its been deluged by applications... and gone bust because they're trying to sort through them all instead of bashing widgets out

    Boris

    'make your own moral up for this one'
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