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First Employee for 2 yr old shop

Maybe the problem in finding good machinists is due to the torrent of video crap games they are exposed to from birth?
Back in the old days a Meccano/Erector set allowed a kid to work with metal, nuts/bolts and see how things had to fit to build anything and then they could fix their own bicycles.
Pushing buttons and watching starshiops on a tiny video screen doesn't teach anything but maybe a video game that designed, cast, machined and built a starship from scratch might get brains thinking in 3d physical world and trigger a desire to do the work as a career?
But should we be doing any machining in the west now as there is no way we can compete with China and Korea etc?
I got rid of all my tools and equipment when I retired but last week had to buy a socket to fix a flat on my mobility scooter. It seems Chinese and raps like good metal but its cost including our expensive UK postage was just $5 so it must have come out of the factory for 10cents.
Then the local £1-$1.25 store has big chef's ladles 11 inches made of stainless and so beautifully stamped, shaped and polished they made me feel inferior and they must have come out at 10cents.

I can't buy a handful of swarf/shavings for 8pence-10 cents!

I asked a UK mould making company to quote me a simple two piece mould to make a square plastic pece 5 inches across and 3/16 deep = he quoted £16,000!

China could make me the mould and parts for £5,000.

Manufacturing in China is heavily subsidised.

Here it is heavily burdened.

Video games are mentally stimulating and everyone I know who plays them is highly intelligent.

I have hired a lot of machinists in my career, and BY FAR the worst hires were older guys with "years of experience".
Manufacturing in China is heavily subsidised.

Here it is heavily burdened.

I have hired a lot of machinists in my career, and BY FAR the worst hires were older guys with "years of experience".

Manufacturing in china is not subsidised -- you are free to create your own problem.
But also one mostly does not need to deal with epa, licences, heavy metals contaminants, dissolvents regs, etc etc.
So it comes down to how you make something, (VMC/cnc lathe), finishing, sales -- and endless sales can be done by online sites if You produce a suitable product for whatever.

It´s hard:
And "endless" means volumes of tens of thousands to millions, even making any kind of silly trinket, or bracket, or smartphone holder, or whatever imaginable.
And thousands of competitors who will try to underbid You for the products You make, and Your buyers will happily switch suppliers for a tiny discount.
A bit less for serious big accounts -- they know from experience bigger lots are hard to do well, on time, to demand.

Lots of money:
Apple with flextronics is the ultimate example I know of.
They do a milled alu shell for iphones with 65 ops, iirc, for about 2$ in margin, 7-9$ total price, qty 300 million, ++.
My numbers come from 10K/10Q official apple docs, with volumes and prepayments as reported by apple.
The nr of ops are or were in an online iphone "making of" video that shows most ops -youtube.

(Even) Given a 300M$ pre-payment and endless credit and free employees I could not produce the iPhone casing with 65 ops for 9$.
For a 300M unit qty == 2.7B$ order.
The efficiency and scale and skill is beyond belief.

There might be 1-2 people on this platform of 2M people who might perhaps be able to approach such levels --
For sure I believe I could not, given the penalties involved for failures.

I believe they (flextronics) bought maybe 10.000 brother robodrills --
perhaps 10k x 50k$ == 500M$ in machine tools alone.
A 100k robodrill, top-spec, or any other VMC, will sell for about 50% off list if you buy 10.000 units.
Might even include collets, toolholders, tools, inserts and vices and possibly pneumatic grabbers/vices in the price.

Top-end industrial tooling and accessories are actually not that expensive if Your order is big enough and important enough - both ends.
I´ve done both the sales and the buying multiple times with multiple industries (and finnish/swedish/english/spanish languages).

The sales engineers I hired here in Spain, 8 of, were all excellent and all doubled their record 10 yr sales, with me, within 8 months.
They were all really experienced, min. 10 years experience in sales of machine tools, all degreed engineers.

They all disliked, intensely, my structured and programmed and managed sales approach - and 2 smart clever secretaries filling in their calendars real-time and reviewing every appointment real-time, as they drove on to the next one.
But as their salary increased, by 3000€/month for some and 1000€/month++ for all, extra pay, and they never needed to report, record anything they ALL changed their minds and saw this as the next thing since sliced bread. They started to use the sales secretaries as assets, helping them.. not as corporate governance.

Where people saw results and got paid, well paid, everyone was very willing to change their attitude and viewpoint.
(Intelligent, motivated)
People are very clever.
They are very capable of excellent results -- typically more than double historical results.

If and when the company shares the results of sales with the sales team (this means paying them thousands per month extra based on results) and shares rewards with the technical team (company credit card and free meals every day, don´t tell me if it was your gf and not a client), and company cars can be used and taken home and company pays everything --
Surprise !!
ALL workers are happier and more motivated and produce vastly better results.
Sales sells much more stuff for more margin, engineers install and maintain more stuff and stay late on fridays or nights to get the customers issues sorted.
And then engineers get extra days off at full pay, deserved, and or both extra holidays as they wish.