As many of you probably already know, our background is as an IT provider. When we took on the opportunity of being a CIMCO reseller in 2006, it was a practical decision. There was a need for someone to answer the calls, fill the orders and help people with servicing their licenses. At that point we had worked with several machine shops in the IT capacity for many years. Then something exciting happened to me personally in 2011, I got very interested in manufacturing, engineering and CNC machining. It went from something I worked around to be something I considered fascinating and cool. I started to ask a lot more questions and began to dream about how fun it would be to invent, design and build stuff. I began living vicariously in this world through my customers, I had caught the bug that led to the decision to emphasize working with manufacturing. Last week I read a story about a talented young woman who had an art background that had become exposed to CNC machining at Clemson University. This young woman caught the fever too and that led to her winning $100,000 1st place prize in the MTConnect Challenge. Her name is Valerie Pezzullo and she represents a great example and opportunity available to young men and women today in the re-emerging manufacturing industry.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education and Why It’s So Important Today
The newer generations are living in a very different world today than the one their parents grew up in. The days when a simple degree and few ideas would lead to a lucrative career are gone and most young people today don’t seem to mind that. They are passionate and willing in spite of what you often hear, but they need to be exposed to different things in order to find their “fire”. It’s important that fires are lit and that it is the right ones. That’s where we can all do a better job advocating for things that are relevant. STEM is one area that is very relevant, the jobs are there and there isn’t much evidence that it will become obsolete any time soon. The importance of exposing young people and particularly young women to STEM is critical because they are out-numbered by their male counterparts. The solution most commonly suggested to fill the skills gap is usually increasing the number of foreign workers, you can see where this leads these potential candidates. Without the correct skills they become part of a larger pool of able bodied but unemployed individuals. Foreign workers with a STEM education is one solution, but another is getting more people excited about STEM education in our schools. This will help solve two problems – unemployment and the skills gap. The current and future generations of Valerie Pezzullo’s will be designing the products and solving the problems that will help to keep manufacturing strong in North America for years to come.
Help fill the jobs of the future, help young people succeed, make sure they are exposed to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.