In this weeks edition of Two for Friday we’ll discuss the seemingly conflicted relationship in two distinct topics. It’s no wonder people get confused about where things are going. This week we were reminded that high paying jobs exist without candidates to fill them and yet un-employment overall remains high. We also learned that in spite of sentiment being low, shipments hit record highs for Precision Machined Products in March. Confused yet? Let’s take a look and make some sense of this:
- Welder’s make $150,000-$200,000 in one Ohio Plant, Bring Back Shop Class (WSJ)
- Record Level of Shipments in March 2014 (PMPA)
Bring Back Shop Class
Josh Mandel wrote an opinion piece this week in the Wall Street Journal with a very catchy headline:
Welders Make $150,000? Bring Back Shop Class
Well that certainly got my attention, so I read on. In the article Mr. Mandel talks about how shop classes have been removed at alarming rate:
As Forbes magazine reported in 2012, 90% of shop classes have been eliminated for the Los Angeles unified school district’s 660,000 students. Yet a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics study shows that 48% of all college graduates are working in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize the lack of return on investment that many young people are getting from their degrees. This issue has a lot to do with the perception of careers in manufacturing. While welding is one small aspect of this industry, the example is still very profound, especially considering the low wages that many of the graduates are getting in the jobs they are able to find. I believe this example is just a reminder to expose kids to as much different things as we can, particularly STEM Education. It also shows a imbalance between what is needed versus what is being sought and provided. A little bit of effort in this area could make a huge difference in the next generation of workers lives.
Record Shipments of Precision Machined Products
This is the part where we get to decide if the cup is half empty or half full. That headline is deceiving because like so many things we hear these days part of it was extremely positive but the headline could have just as easily read:
Sentiments Softened Across All Areas of Precision Machined Products
And both are true, but what’s really going on? Confidence is sliding but orders are flying out the doors for many manufacturers according to this report by the Precsion Machined Products Association (PMPA). There is one extremely important fact in the report that reduces the overall value of the result, according to the report:
Number of respondents is 67, still lower than our normal high -80’s due to our
migration to online reporting.
The significant reduction in respondents, about 1/3 less than usual, could certainly play a role so it will be very interesting to see how the data looks for April. I guess what really matters is what YOU are experiencing and we’re hoping that your business is doing well.