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  1. #21
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    Where I work we have a few apprentices around the factory and 1 in the machine shop with me. She will be our 3rd apprentice to have come out of the machine shop when she completes it in another 3 years. We try to get well motivated apprentices that want to stay on for many years to come.

    We have problems even finding people to come for interviews because machinists are in such high demand we find training our own apprentices work best for us plus there are government incentives to hire new apprentices so it’s win win for us.

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    We are sort of in a desert as far as machinists go, so we are almost forced to bring in entry level people, most barely out of high school. The closest tech school that makes any effort concerning machining is a good 100 miles away, at TSTC in Waco. We've had a couple of guys start here, then quit here and go through their program in Waco. Both are still in machine work.
    A a general rule, we get to keep one in five of the entry level people for a period of two years or more. They either quit and go to other shops, other fields, or go back to school. I have one, my successor apparent, that has been here more than 10 years.
    I, myself, plan on retiring in March. I'll still do some consulting, programming as necessary. A few other efforts. We've tried to bring my successor along as well as possible in the interim, but I think he'll progress much faster if we just kick him off in the deep end and stick around to keep him from drowning. Theory, anyway.
    We have brought in these entry level folks sort of as needed. We try NOT to lay people off, as it's too tough to start over from scratch. When we DO have to reduce force, I use that as a weeding tool, as anyone would expect. The less productive you are, or the less promise you show, the closer to the ax you live.
    This year, we have, for the first time, brought in a high school kid. One of those half day work, half day school programs. He has been a pleasant surprise. Actually shows up to work on time, does what I tell him. Takes instruction well. To bad I'm not gonna be here long enough to actually make something more than an operator out of him. Kid shows some interest, and has some aptitude to work with.
    So. In answer to your question, as to what are WE doing to alleviate the shortage in our area, Hiring what we can, when we can, and now working with the local high school, to bring in an train. But seeing limited success. I don't know what the average is, but as I said, our retain rate is only about 20%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    Sounds like the votech needs to sort this out. It won't matter how much stuff people donate to the program if the major firms in the are going to waste can all the resumes coming from those programs. I suspect something else has changed. Either way it doesn't matter their program is broken. Education isn't about selling the program to students its about placing students into jobs. When that happens students will line up to get in. Unfortunately many schools in the states are now designed to produce a product without a market. What I like to call "square eggs".
    I graduated in 2000, in 96/97 I took the last year of metal shop at high school. In 2006, the wood shop closed its doors. They have replaced it with sit down classes. Also when I graduated, there were over 250 people in the FFA program, in 2016, there were only about 22 people. So that's the high school.

    The Votech, at some point, 2010-2013, is now able to become a full fledged school, that includes funding from the state and not just from the local schools. So now they have cut back on trades that cost money and don't bring in more income since they aren't based on the local high schools. Last year, they have their own sports teams now.

    Now as with everything, money is driving almost every program anymore. The boy scouts of America was driven by people who wanted young people to move forward by passing down skills and knowledge. Things have changed and the BSA now gets xxx dollars per eagle scout, so they have been rewriting the books so they can push people through as fast as possible. The average age of an eagle scout in 1998 when I got it was 16-17, it is now at 14-15. The books have changed over time as well. When rock climbing badge came out, I was excited about it because it was what you really have to do, I love to go rock climbing ever since I was 12. As of last year, you can now get this badge sitting inside of a "scout college classroom" without windows.

    So at least around here in NJ, it is hard to get people interested in things. Plus the insurance here blows.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk

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    Blame whoever had the bright idea to brainwash teachers or schools that you couldn't become anything if you didn't go to a 4yr school. I was LIED to that I needed 2yrs of a foreign language class to get into the State schools. I was led to believe since middle school that if you went to a local tech school you were getting C-D grades in the 90s. They started reducing the classes as well.

    Also, I FIRMLY believe training and getting kids excited is in high school....but they don't get good training because they are required to hire someone with a teaching degree...so yeah...hire a 22yr old you doesn't know jack shit about real work and never been in the field. Then if your LUCKY these kids go to a tech school and actually understand stuff. Otherwise the tech schools are teaching people you never took shop class or the school never had one. Think about that. The kids graduating the tech schools..really are at a high school level or even worse. That is why all the companies are complaining. Oh well.

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    The shop I'm at is almost entirely younger machinists. Our oldest machinist is in their mid-30's. Most are mid-late 20's and been working here since 18-19-20, including myself. Pretty much all of us have no formal training, all learned on the job at various shops.

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    On another thread I was talking about how good this young guy we hired turned out to be. Turns out too good. He has aspirations of getting his PE license. He needs to work under a PE for two years before he can take the PE exam. So he gave us two weeks notice and took a job with a big engineering firm! Sadly what got him the job was the skills that I have been teaching him!

    I told him how much this upset me that he was leaving. I told him I was happy for him. I told him that if he decides he made a mistake to come back! BUMMER!

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    Yea Gary, I understand. We have one that just in the last several months had the light come on and was doing really well. Turned in his 2 week notice today........ Good luck to him and I guess I'll just work on training the next one....

    If anyone is looking for a Mechanical Engineering job in Eastern TN, hit me up with a pm..... we are needing help.

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    I've trained a few guys, had them leave when things got slow. After a while, the incentive to do this erodes.

    I think the technological/industrial world needs more testing and training credentials that follow a person through life. There shouldn't be this 'starting over' when you leave one employer and go to another job in the similar line of work (if you so choose). The upshot of this is that wherever the person is working that permits someone to gain additional credentials, gets a real tax credit for the training expense. This would require some sort of standardized evaluation system for every line of work.

    Every guy I've trained figured they deserved to get paid a wage while they learned, cutting into my work time which I am not recompensed for. The trainee gets any grant for the retraining money passed through the employer's hands. The employer just gets the short end of the stick, if the guy doesn't stick around.
    Last edited by HuFlungDung; 01-30-2018 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonytn36 View Post
    Yea Gary, I understand. We have one that just in the last several months had the light come on and was doing really well. Turned in his 2 week notice today........ Good luck to him and I guess I'll just work on training the next one....

    If anyone is looking for a Mechanical Engineering job in Eastern TN, hit me up with a pm..... we are needing help.
    I’ve finally realized that I am a manufacturer of finely crafted exquisite employees. Made from only the best hand selected stock and carefully shaped and polished. When finished they are very expensive and worth every penny.

    Of course the scrap pile is pretty big too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    during recession there are plenty of people to hire and companies stop or halt training i have even seen 2nd and 3rd year apprentices layed off. its normal and i have seen it many times.
    .
    there is often a 2 to 10 year delay before most are back to work already trained and there is a need to train new people. i have seen this many many times including companies complaining nobody available to hire and complaining about cost to train people. often schools or apprentice programs are shutdown and they have to restarted years later. many companies do not have long term plans and ability to withstand recessions more than a year or maybe 2 years. i hear German companies think much more long term and rarely lay off apprentices
    Boy! Talk about cutting their nose off to spite their face! Just throwing away three years of investment in training. And in multiple cases! Wow. Sounds like an extreme disconnect between bean counters and the reality of the work. But you are right. I've seen such happenings.
    In my 14 years as manager in this shop, I've started quite a few entry level hands. One is in line to replace me when I retire in a few weeks. Most don't stick, with about a 20% retention rate. We have one high school kid working in the shop on one of the half day programs with the local high school now. Been here just past his three month probationary period. Seems like he's gonna work out. Don't know if he'll stay in this shop after graduation or not. But I believe he will stay in the trade.
    There isn't a trade school teaching machine work for 120 miles here. That's one problem. Absolutely no interest by the public schools is being shown. They seem to all be in the same rut of thinking everyone needs to go to a four year college and go work in an office.
    I was a bit encouraged to hear the President in his SOTU message mention Vocational Education last night. At this point, it's all talk, but it is good to see that the problem has been noticed at that level. Too late for me to seem much direct benefit from it, but better late than never. There is a dirth of people ready to go into jobs in the trades, in nearly every market. It doesn't take forever to teach a trade to people. Pays is gonna have to commensurate, and that has been a big problem for years. IF we can bring a lot of jobs back from outside the US, AND create a will to replenish that middle class to it's former ascendancy, maybe we can eventually turn all this around. But I am skeptical at best.

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    I haven't read this whole thread, but I started working in a machine shop a few months ago. The shop is owned by a friend of a very respected PM member, I think I got the job because of his reference mainly.

    It's a manual job shop that does a bit of everything, some light fab work, hydraulics, what ever comes in the door.

    It's a pretty sweet gig, the boss is fine working around my crazy school schedule. This semester I work till noon Tuesday and Thursday and all day Friday. When I don't have school work, I'm there pretty much all the time.

    Since it's a small shop, no day is ever the same, some days it's repacking large multiple stage hydraulic cylinders, running a machine or doing mechanic work.

    Doing lots of stuff I've never done before. Never been inside a spool valve before, but a few weeks ago was rebuilding some pilot operated solenoid valves and manifolds. Never operated or worked on a press brake, but over the vacation was working on a running a 2000ton Cincinnati. Never loaded parts into a lathe with an overhead crane, now do it all the time.

    I'd about given up on finding a spot in a machine shop like this, I was applying to places like Lowes and Home-depot and got an email about this job. The boss working around my school schedule is HUGE. If one week I have exams and need to study, I just send him a text, let him know whats going on and it's no big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post
    I haven't read this whole thread, but I started working in a machine shop a few months ago. The shop is owned by a friend of a very respected PM member, I think I got the job because of his reference mainly.

    It's a manual job shop that does a bit of everything, some light fab work, hydraulics, what ever comes in the door.

    It's a pretty sweet gig, the boss is fine working around my crazy school schedule. This semester I work till noon Tuesday and Thursday and all day Friday. When I don't have school work, I'm there pretty much all the time.

    Since it's a small shop, no day is ever the same, some days it's repacking large multiple stage hydraulic cylinders, running a machine or doing mechanic work.

    Doing lots of stuff I've never done before. Never been inside a spool valve before, but a few weeks ago was rebuilding some pilot operated solenoid valves and manifolds. Never operated or worked on a press brake, but over the vacation was working on a running a 2000ton Cincinnati. Never loaded parts into a lathe with an overhead crane, now do it all the time.

    I'd about given up on finding a spot in a machine shop like this, I was applying to places like Lowes and Home-depot and got an email about this job. The boss working around my school schedule is HUGE. If one week I have exams and need to study, I just send him a text, let him know whats going on and it's no big deal.
    make sure you repay that flexible work schedule favor when he calls and says can you work this weekend, easter break, summer break, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akajun View Post
    make sure you repay that flexible work schedule favor when he calls and says can you work this weekend, easter break, summer break, etc.
    Yeah I do, there hasn't been a whole lot of times where we've worked weekends or very late, but it's happened. Last Friday was a 14hour day.

  20. #34
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    Some people make great teachers, other not so much; same as some people make great students and others not! I have been tasked with teaching new employees several different times and for the most part I felt like I was wasting my time. There were some instances were I hadn't seen a guy in a long time (one about ten years) and when I did was told that I was the one that showed him the ropes years ago. It was really quite a surprise to hear that after all the ones I basically lost hope in; bottom line IMO is it takes a lot of patience that I really lack and it only works if the student is really curious in regards to the subject. One example I have; I recently retired so sometimes try to explain to a youngster how important it is to start saving for retirement, most will just shrug their shoulders or walk away.
    Dan

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    I have only worked with, trained, employed "kids" since 1975.
    Many up and down times in the auto since then but the "workers" have not changed.
    Not sure the original question posted meaning.
    My generation was considered slackers when I was young and I remember that criticism.
    One can only hope to pass on what you know or life has taught you. Of course the punk ass kids will not listen just as we did not.
    Teaching is a gentle skill, perhaps a bit lost during the recent economic race.
    This tide will turn as most business trends ride about a 20-30 year wave.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I have only worked with, trained, employed "kids" since 1975.
    Many up and down times in the auto since then but the "workers" have not changed.
    Not sure the original question posted meaning.
    My generation was considered slackers when I was young and I remember that criticism.
    One can only hope to pass on what you know or life has taught you. Of course the punk ass kids will not listen just as we did not.
    Teaching is a gentle skill, perhaps a bit lost during the recent economic race.
    This tide will turn as most business trends ride about a 20-30 year wave.
    Bob
    I want bore you with a wall of text why I think what I am going to type next but......I am 50,2 years career center in high screwol then in job shops from 1986 to now. I really think the wave is heading back into the up swing due to many issues from global trading and how that has evolved in the last 30 years. Skilled tradesmen were middle to upper middle class before offshoring along with oil crashes. 40 years ago there were whole blocks of manufacturing plants here. Skilled tradesmen were a dime a dozen, literally. Today it is much different. (whole other discussion) finding skilled tradesmen is damn near impossible. Due to low wages for the last decade, not much new blood is going into the trades, why sweat and work your ass off just to skin by at lower middle class level. There are shops here in my area that would love to expand but can not due to skilled labor shortage.....I see the wave pushing pay scales up to attract new talent and a new focus from schools and communities to fill good paying jobs. As more of us from the last couple generations retire, the stress to fill skilled positions is only going to get worse, fueling the need to teach and promote the trades programs.

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    I have trained some kids over the last 12 years or so I've been in the trade.(manual machinist) They either want it or they don't is what it comes down to.

    Some kids are there because someone got them the job and they treat it like they are in a fast food joint and don't really care to learn anything. Some kids pick it up real good and are eager to learn as much as possible so they can start moving up in pay grade.

    The biggest problem I see companies making is only wanting to move the kids pay up a dollar at a time when they are starting out at $12 an hour. After a year on a Bridgeport and lathe the kids that pick it up are doing pretty much everything I'm doing on their own but only making 13 or 14 an hour. the companie should be paying them at least 18 at that point to hold onto the kid they just invested my time and their money into.

    Plus the kids may have more incentive to dump thousands of there dollars into the tools they need to get by in this trade if they knew tgey could make a decent wage which they currently are not making.

    Companies want to be cheap and wonder why these kids move on to another shop after learning what they know. I encourage the kids to leave because thats the only way they are going to make the money they deserve without having to be at the company for 10 years fighting for every dollar raise they might not get.

    The other problem as far as getting the younger kids wanting to work in the skilled trade shops is the school promotes going to college and have gotten rid of any kind of machine shop, wood shop, auto shop and replaced them with computer labs.

    Ontop of the schools pushing higher education, you have parents like me that work in the skilled trade shops telling their kids to stay far away from getting to any kind of factory and maybe go ino the medical field where there is real money to be made.

    These kids see their parents constantly struggle in lower middle class and dont want that for them selfs, rightfully so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mo841 View Post
    I have trained some kids over the last 12 years or so I've been in the trade.(manual machinist) They either want it or they don't is what it comes down to.

    Some kids are there because someone got them the job and they treat it like they are in a fast food joint and don't really care to learn anything. Some kids pick it up real good and are eager to learn as much as possible so they can start moving up in pay grade.

    The biggest problem I see companies making is only wanting to move the kids pay up a dollar at a time when they are starting out at $12 an hour. After a year on a Bridgeport and lathe the kids that pick it up are doing pretty much everything I'm doing on their own but only making 13 or 14 an hour. the companie should be paying them at least 18 at that point to hold onto the kid they just invested my time and their money into.

    Plus the kids may have more incentive to dump thousands of there dollars into the tools they need to get by in this trade if they knew tgey could make a decent wage which they currently are not making.

    Companies want to be cheap and wonder why these kids move on to another shop after learning what they know. I encourage the kids to leave because thats the only way they are going to make the money they deserve without having to be at the company for 10 years fighting for every dollar raise they might not get.

    The other problem as far as getting the younger kids wanting to work in the skilled trade shops is the school promotes going to college and have gotten rid of any kind of machine shop, wood shop, auto shop and replaced them with computer labs.

    Ontop of the schools pushing higher education, you have parents like me that work in the skilled trade shops telling their kids to stay far away from getting to any kind of factory and maybe go ino the medical field where there is real money to be made.

    These kids see their parents constantly struggle in lower middle class and dont want that for them selfs, rightfully so.
    Funny, we think almost identically on this subject.
    I started a 4 bucks, 6 years later when I quit I was making 8 bucks, true story, in order to get EVERY ONE of my raises I had to go find another job, turn in my 2 week notice and then boss would match what I was going to get at other shop and feed me a line of shit.
    You would just have to know this company, if I were not busting ass and producing he would have fired me my first month there.

    I was just 18 and living at home.
    Saw many of men there working 2 jobs just to not be homeless.
    As you said, JR see's this and aint no way in hell he going to work in a shit hole buying his own tools for just enough to afford Raman noodles.

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    I've tried to train a couple of guys, both under 21. Maybe it was the kind of people they are but the moment I started getting them to try and think for themselves they left my place and got an office job somewhere.

    I don't think I do anything wrong with how I approach teaching them. Usually start them on measuring stuff correctly, then start program training with basic stuff and build from there. Once I have taught them something and explained it a few times, I would expect them to be able to start problem solving themselves to some extent, but that is the point when the last 2 guys just "gave up".

    What do you guys tend to look for when you are looking for potentials for training / apprentice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valtari View Post
    I've tried to train a couple of guys, both under 21. Maybe it was the kind of people they are but the moment I started getting them to try and think for themselves they left my place and got an office job somewhere.

    I don't think I do anything wrong with how I approach teaching them. Usually start them on measuring stuff correctly, then start program training with basic stuff and build from there. Once I have taught them something and explained it a few times, I would expect them to be able to start problem solving themselves to some extent, but that is the point when the last 2 guys just "gave up".

    What do you guys tend to look for when you are looking for potentials for training / apprentice?
    Drive and attitude are probably the main things I look for. I've made a couple bad hires but more good ones than bad.


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