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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Weeks View Post
    What if the owner is trying to hire someone to help actually get some work done, and doesn't want a babysitting project where he spends his day "trying to make work seem interesting"? Either you find machining interesting or you don't. It's not up to your boss to make your job interesting, that's up to you!
    I think you're missing the point. I've had bosses I want to work for, and bosses I don't. Jobs, effectively the same but at different companies, one where my wife calls at 6:30 to remind me that dinner will be ready soon, and another where I can't wait until 5:00. I'm not actively trying to give one better work than the other, but it certainly works out that way. I just looked back to see what my previous managers are up to. Interesting that all of the ones I liked working with have been promoted (as have many that worked under them). The ones I wasn't a big fan of are still in the same place with the same problems.

    Making work interesting is sort of like being nice to people. You don't have to do it, but if you know how it won't cost you much and it's quite amazing what you get from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    It's funny how people say to "just pay more, and they will come".

    It's not that simple.

    It's hard to "just pay more", when a lot of jobs in the shop have to be bid at cheaper and cheaper prices.

    There's no limit to how low shops will go...even in America.

    On one hand you have the garage-shop guys, they're making money selling cnc time at $25-30 per hour.

    Often forgotten though, on the other hand is the wealthy, generational shop owner (with his 10,000+ sq. ft. shop started by dad or papaw decades ago, filled with new or newer cnc's, and dozens of people on the payroll)...well them stupid sonofabitches will quote jobs at "$75+ per hour", but in reality with the amount of hours they have in the job, they're lucky to average half that! The shop only has to break even, as the owner is already loaded for life...

    And then there is all the shops we have to compete against everywhere else in the world.

    The government needs to change free trade to fair trade, that would help a lot.

    Because in the end, the industry does have to pay more, and offer stable employment, to get the people they need to keep moving forward.

    ToolCat
    I do agree with most of this, but it reminds me of an issue at a previous employer with an in house tool room. I had an issue with a overseas supplier's part and proposed a new (simple) fixture to solve the issue. Barely three days later a package showed up at my desk in the middle of Indiana with the fixture, an identical one of which was now in use at the supplier. I wasn't expecting it, so I had actually asked our in house tool room to make one. When I got down there the guys hadn't even looked at the print yet, and they weren't running busy at the time.
    When I can send a print from my computer, to an eastern European immigrant two states away, to an east Asian who barely speaks English, down to their tool room, get it made (deburred nicely and all), and get it mailed 2 day around the world faster and cheaper (shipping costs included) than I can order it from a local shop or even get it from guys in my own building that says something bad about the local options.

    That case wasn't an outlier, I had plenty of experiences like that there. The same thing that gives a shop the potential customer base of the country (or world) rather than being trapped in its own locale works both ways.

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by magshooter View Post
    Where I am now, there are 5 machinists. We are within 7 yrs of probably all of us retiring.
    With the difficulty of finding experienced machinists of varied skill sets (manual & CNC), I wonder what this company will do?
    I suspect this must be a very common issue across the entire USA
    What percentage of employees in your shop are getting close to retiring?
    Six months. I CAN retire tomorrow, if I so please, but the planned date is in early March. As for the plan, I'm going to be available on a consulting basis. With the current drought of experience, it may be a busy first few months. We shall see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HanktheTank View Post
    This upcoming generation doesn't seem to be too interested in physical/hands on types of jobs. There also seems to be a stigma that if you don't get a 4 yr college degree than you are somehow less. I think as more and more of the baby boomers retire we are going to see a real shortage in blue collar jobs--not just machinist.
    It puzzled me for years how a college degree, even a liberal arts degree, could be the difference between getting hired or not even getting interviewed. There is the obvious exhibit of persistence that it takes to just grind out four years and get a degree in underwater basketweaving, but what the hell is it good for? But I have experienced it too many times to not acknowledge that it exists. And I think it affects machinists as much as it does anyone. I've applied for jobs, in a shop, and when they see HS as the end of formal education, you can almost see the wall come up. Years of OJT and experience means nothing compared to that sheepskin, even if it's a totally useless degree in a completely unrelated field. The bigger the shop, the more likely the wall. Of course, this means very often the bigger the opportunity, the less likely the experience is even gonna be weighed. I've since decided it because HR is occupied by a bunch of college grads, hiring for a shop that is like lunar agriculture to them. They have absolutely no idea what they are looking at or for.

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    Want more pay? Do more work.

    It's a pretty simple concept, that seems lost on people fresh to the workforce (and people who've been around a while)

    "I've been here 6 months I deserve a raise". Ok hotshot. What have you done in that 6 months that you've graced us with your presence to make you more productive and profitable? Simply existing is not a cause for a raise in pay. Learn new skills, be a self starter, don't make scrap parts, don't destroy tooling, don't play on your phone every. chance. you. get. Don't ask how to do the same thing over and over and over again. Don't need to be reminded what you were doing before you took your 25 minute "15 minute" break. Don't tell me you're "entitled" to anything......End rant.....

    But yeah, there's so many problems facing the future of this trade. But the way kids are raised by society, politically, and parentaly, I don't see many flocking to a trade that has you buying $1000's of tools, going home dirty, smelly, grumpy all for a middle to lower middle class income. Unless of course you love making things with your hands. Yeah sure there are exceptions to the rule, and there are nice, clean shops that pay well, and employees are treated fairly and respected. But...

    Then the ever increasing problem (it's a problem or a blessing depending on which side of it you're on) of automation being able to do more with less human effort is not something to be ignored. We've gotten to a point where we simply wont NEED great numbers of people to make things anymore. Do more with less. I've only been around manufacturing for 15 years, and so much has changed it's incredible. Been pretty lucky to stay somewhat on top of the wave so far, but if you're not constantly evaluating the way you do things to find hidden efficiencies you're gradually being left behind.

    A counter to the above about automation, is that labour will always be required to some degree in making things. But labour has become a globally traded commodity. And in some cases, even if you had the best employee there was, it's simply not possible to pay them what they're "worth" to retain them because there simply isn't enough money in a job. They move on to a trade, or another job where they can get rewarded for what they contribute.

    There are isolated pockets of manufacturing all over the country. Old manual shops still doing things the same as 20 years ago, and still profitable. But for the most part, the trade as a whole is constantly being refined, and those are the shops that are going to struggle to find people to replace the workers they have when they retire. Those guys don't leave, because they have no currently applicable skills to go anywhere and get payed what they're "worth", and it's hard to find younger employees to fill those roles because the skills required for those jobs havn't been taught in years. The company doing the hiring doesn't want to invest in younger people because there's not enough money to, and the young guys really don't want to put an effort into learning that way anymore. Sweep the floor? I've got a degree, I'm not doing that.

    They want to work in an air conditioned paradise, burning 3 calories a day moving their right arms only enough to push a mouse and hit magic green buttons. All tools and knowledge required for the job should be provided to them, and they only want to put in the minimum effort required to do the job and get paid. Showing up for work on time, on a daily basis is both their greatest asset, and their greatest liability.....end rant again....sorry

    My apologies if the above seems a bit all over the place. Took a while to write it in between real work, and lost my point a couple times.... There were a couple more points I wanted to make but that's the gist of it from my cheap seats. Dan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SigurdACVW View Post
    Our shop owner is 70. Employees are the following, including myself: 78, 75, 65?, 60, 59, 44, 35, 26. I often wonder what things will look like in 5-10 years.

    I keep finding Craigslist ads for miracle workers at $12. Or "Class A toolmaker, manual mill, lathe, grinder, EDM, CNC, SolidWorks, handwork and supervise 2 apprentices: $15". (cricket cricket cricket) "WE CAN'T FIND ANY SKILLED TOOLMAKERS!"
    All I can say is that at $15 an hour, he's blowing smoke on all that on his resume.I start green kids in Hell ON Earth For Machinists that high. And can't find any takers. I gave up counting years ago who came in saying they were all that and a bag of chips, only to put them on the floor, and they can't find the e stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by die_maker View Post
    I even went to one company lately that has been looking for a programmer. I walked through the shop, and not one manual machine was being used. The manufacturing head proudly told me that they don't do any manual machining at all.
    I got this job for that very reason. This part doesn't fit on my CNC mills, but I can kick the head over to one side on the bridgeport and hang the part under the table, put in the holes, finish the length, no problem. I get a premium for this part because it's a bridgeport job, go figure.

    handle2.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    reason is in a recession, people to hire with better skills are easier to get. and companies save money by not training people or having classes setup to train new people
    .
    when economy improves there are fewer to hire. there is every year machinist coming out of day school and night school classes. when i took night school classes they had a job posting board and teacher often asked he knew of jobs and would anybody be interested in a job. many students like myself knew they would loose job soon and were just preparing by updating their skills. so not all students needed a immediate job
    .
    i literally got hired out of high school and got job and after 1 year started a apprenticeship class as a machinist back 37 years ago. my former company didnt complain about not finding anybody. they found trainable people and trained them. they made machinist
    .
    only thing i see is today some companies are resisting setting up training for new people. they want other companies to do it or for person to pay for their own schooling. they might have a long wait finding people that way. this by the way has been a problem for like 2000 years. nothing new about it at all
    Hey, all companies cried poor. "WAH,WAH, we train them and they leave".

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    agreed. sort of sounds like the problem most on this site have been waiting for.

    As for skilled youth, you guys expect skills? The bar is a lot lower than that....I'd almost be happy with one showing up on time 5 days in row and no more than 45 minutes a day on the crapper.
    Damn, what are they eating?

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    Quote Originally Posted by park city man View Post
    Damn, what are they eating?

    At my last job (1988) the boss hired a Journeyman Tool Maker that had just lost his job doo to plant closure of a union plant. That would have been 3 of us in the toolroom, and we only had 2 Bridgeports. We were a stamping shop, so most all the work was on the mills.

    I was working 2 shifts at the time, so if I wasn't working, I was sleeping, so it really didn't matter what time of day I did any of it. My house was in the middle of the corn field, so daytime traffic/noise didn't matter either, so I told the boss man that I would just doo 2nd/3rd for now. No worries...

    So I never worked with this guy, but I would see him come in in the morning, with a bread sack clear full of sammiches. (clear full) I found Soldier of Fortune magazine(s?) on the top of the lathe, and they said that he spent quite a bit of time in the head. (Who'da thunk eh?) Did I mention that he was a big boy?

    By Friday the bossman decided that he just wasn't going to be able to make a go of this guy, but the other guys kept track of his time. I forget what and where all he was other than in the toolroom, but he had at least 3 hours of "off" time, and it could have been more. 1.5 hours was in the john. (at work? really?)

    He was surprised that he was let go.


    We were pretty sure how the other shop went broke....



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    Quote Originally Posted by gorrilla View Post
    It puzzled me for years how a college degree, even a liberal arts degree, could be the difference between getting hired or not even getting interviewed. There is the obvious exhibit of persistence that it takes to just grind out four years and get a degree in underwater basketweaving, but what the hell is it good for? But I have experienced it too many times to not acknowledge that it exists. And I think it affects machinists as much as it does anyone. I've applied for jobs, in a shop, and when they see HS as the end of formal education, you can almost see the wall come up. Years of OJT and experience means nothing compared to that sheepskin, even if it's a totally useless degree in a completely unrelated field. The bigger the shop, the more likely the wall. Of course, this means very often the bigger the opportunity, the less likely the experience is even gonna be weighed. I've since decided it because HR is occupied by a bunch of college grads, hiring for a shop that is like lunar agriculture to them. They have absolutely no idea what they are looking at or for.
    I was installing a filtration system in California and the project manager pulls into the job and says get it the car. He wants me to do a presentation right now to the California plumbing board on RO and ultrafiltration to explain how it works. We go in a big conference room with about a dozen people and everyone passes out business cards. I see that everyone in the room is a Phd, except me, I did graduate high school you know. I do the presentation and we all get up to leave. One guy says "Wow you really know your stuff!" Another guy says "Where did you go to school?" I am standing there thinking "I am 58 years old, do you seriously think something I learned in school is even slightly more relevant than the 40+ years of learning I have done since?"

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    I understand that I am a very small business, but over the past few years it pains me to put an ad out for a new employee. My requirements for a real person is able to drive, be self motivated, and be able to show up on time.

    Most people that have applied for a job are an hour away and don't even google map how far away we are. Then they get pissed that they wasted time. I'm all about hiring older people but most of them want to talk down to me since I'd be younger.

    The last guy who applied called me and said I want a job and seen your ad in the paper, he came down here for an interview and said that it took him almost 2 hours to get here because he got lost. He got mad that he assumed that since the ad came from the paper that it was local. I had to teach him that the local papers combined 3 years ago and now they do 3 counties. That's why I put the full address. The guy said that I also should have put on the ad that it was too far away.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
    The guy said that I also should have put on the ad that it was too far away.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk


    LOL!


    I have one guy that calls me once a yr or more to see if I have any Acme positions open up yet. He currently drives 2 hrs to work, and would like to get that down to 1 hr.

    I wish that I had work for him.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    LOL!


    I have one guy that calls me once a yr or more to see if I have any Acme positions open up yet. He currently drives 2 hrs to work, and would like to get that down to 1 hr.

    I wish that I had work for him.


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    At least I would hope in Ohio that is a two hour drive with no traffic. I would rather drive 2 hours on the open road than 30 minutes in a traffic jam to get 5 miles.

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    Well, he's in Michigan and drives to Detroit, but yes, we are out here in the corn fields.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    Remember, when manufacturing began in the USA, there were very few Native American steamfitters, welders, machinists, or inventors- we built the industrial revolution almost exclusively with fresh off the boat immigrants...
    Which is why I can't comprehend the inherent racism in the U.S., especially when I hear it by someone from the older generation, but I digress.

    In my opinion, it's not a very enticing career choice for people my age (35) or younger. Just do a quick job search for "machinist". In my area (south Chicago suburbs), there are 43 job postings. I clicked on a few of them and it's not attractive at all. Very few listed pay above $20 an hour, which is not a lot anyway these days. They all list overtime being a requirement (yuck). All required 3+ years experience, except one which was only asking for 1 year but also paid $14 an hour (really?).

    Some people truly find it interesting and/or enjoyable as a prospect, good for them. But it's not hard to see why many won't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorrilla View Post
    All I can say is that at $15 an hour, he's blowing smoke on all that on his resume.I start green kids in Hell ON Earth For Machinists that high. And can't find any takers. I gave up counting years ago who came in saying they were all that and a bag of chips, only to put them on the floor, and they can't find the e stop.
    I think he meant he's seeing Craigslist ads from employers requesting people be miracle workers for only $15 an hour. I only think that because I see it too.

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    ^ Common here in the uk too, hell its part the reason im self employed and learnt most of the skills i have.

    Local medium sized company is surprised they can't get and keep staff, they only pay minimum wage for first 3 month trial, tried explaning your never going to get good staff doing that because they know they can have tomoz off and get a job else were paying the same the day after, here you want staff to be keen and show up you have to better than minimum wage and make them want to be there at 8AM!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    LOL!


    I have one guy that calls me once a yr or more to see if I have any Acme positions open up yet. He currently drives 2 hrs to work, and would like to get that down to 1 hr.

    I wish that I had work for him.


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    Can't you just slide an acme into his place, and send him your work ?

    Sort of a "Lend-Lease" program.....

    If he's Amish, send along a diesel genset.


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