Like many manufacturing companies Westminster Tool recognizes a generational gap in the workforce between existing and future workers. While interest in manufacturing has been on the rise in the last five years, only 35% of parents are promoting manufacturing as a potential career for students, according to The Manufacturing Institute. The causing factor is a false perception of manufacturing careers, a perception Westminster Tool is fighting hard to reverse.
Working with the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA), Westminster Tool has campaigned to educated students and parents alike about the thriving local manufacturing community. Using its company as an example, Westminster Tool invites students to learn about their company with open-house tours, shadowing opportunities and other interactive events. EAMA brings together local manufacturers, like Westminster Tool, and academia to promote manufacturing, fill workforce gaps and develop manufacturing curriculum in local schools.
Secretary of EAMA and Westminster Tool’s Director of Human Development & Marketing, Kylee Carbone comments that, “The manufacturers in this region recognize that strengthening tomorrow’s workforce is crucial. With EAMA, we saw an opportunity to unite as a collective voice in changing how manufacturing is introduced to young students and how it’s taught at our schools.”
Many of Westminster Tool’s newest employees joined the company after earning certificates in the Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology Certificate at Quinebaug Valley Community College. Employees were able to undergo the fundamental training for manufacturing and immediately join the workforce after completing a one year training program.
In an industry that is constantly developing its technology and practices, American manufacturing success relies heavily on the next generation of skilled future manufacturers. Without the support of students jobs in manufacturing, the existing workforce gap will continue to widen and leave companies without the skilled employees they need.
“There is a growing demand for manufacturers and if we stop recruiting, or stop advancing now, we are not going to set ourselves up for a sustainable future in this industry”, says Carbone. Westminster Tool is offering a, learn while you earn scholarship to QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology Certificate. Upon graduation of the program, there is an opportunity for full time employment at Westminster Tool.