Manufacturers cultivate 'home-grown' employees.Illinois program ensures supply of new workers.
Bill Kochan says he became interested in manufacturing when he walked by the shop class of his Illinois high school and saw a robotic arm A robotic arm is a robot manipulator, usually programmable, with similar functions to a human arm. The links of such a manipulator are connected by joints allowing either rotational motion (such as in an articulated robot) or translational (linear) displacement. in action. The robot aroused his interest so much that he joined the class.
When he decided to pursue machine tooling as a career, he had to sell the idea to his family and friends. Mr Kochan was adamant about his career choice and joined an apprenticeship apprenticeship, system of learning a craft or trade from one who is engaged in it and of paying for the instruction by a given number of years of work. The practice was known in ancient Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as in modern Europe and to some extent program organized by his high school; Komet of America Inc, Schaumburg, IL; and the Tooling & Manufacturing Association (TMA TMA Turnaround Management Association
TMA Texas Medical Association
TMA Transportation Management Association
TMA Training and Management Assistance (a component of OHRD, which is a component of OWR)
TMA Tooling & Manufacturing Association ), Park Ridge Park Ridge, city (1990 pop. 36,175), Cook co., NE Ill., a suburb adjacent to Chicago, on the Des Plaines River; inc. 1873. It is chiefly residential. Several national and international corporations have their headquarters in Park Ridge. Nearby is O'Hare International Airport. , IL.
Mr Kochan will complete his apprenticeship in two years. By then, he will have had 8000 hours of technical-school training paid for by his employer. And he'll have a career.
At the same time, the company will have ensured that its work continues to be handled by well-trained newcomers. Very simply, says Franz Start, Komet's marketing manager, "we need more trained people to run the sophisticated machines of today to continue to supply a quality product."
Komet is not alone. In the manufacturing field, too many jobs are chasing too few young workers with ability. It's a consequence of the general impression of manufacturing as a down-and-dirty business. Even salary levels that range from $30,000 to $70,000 annually can't alter the fact that there are 12,000 to 14,000 openings across the US for toolmakers, machinists, and precision metalworkers.
For his part, Komet president' Rick Martin chose to take a grassroots approach. "We had two options," he explains. "We had either to escalate es·ca·late
v. es·ca·lat·ed, es·ca·lat·ing, es·ca·lates
To increase, enlarge, or intensify: escalated the hostilities in the Persian Gulf.
v.intr. the income levels of our employees to a point where we could pirate them from other firms in the area, or grow our own. Not having unlimited resources, we looked to finding quality human material and putting those people through an apprenticeship program in conjunction with TMA."
A career plan
Komet decided the best place to start "growing our own" was among high school freshmen. In 1992 Komet, along with other manufacturers, joined with TMA and area schools to map a strategy. From that alliance sprang an advisory council. The council provided funds to high school shop classes, while industry leaders trained instructors and guaranteed summer internships, to students. Today, a four-year apprenticeship program is in place, boasting 100 participants.
Placement from the program exceeds 90%, says Bethany Paul, TMA manager of education partnerships and communications, who adds: "High schools always push college. However, in Illinois only 17% of students finish college compared with over 90% who finish their four-year apprenticeship program."
The high schools recruit members into the program, pitching the value of a manufacturing career to students and parents who attend an eighth-grade open house. Komet sponsors its own open house as well, with parents, business leaders, and high school administrators meeting over dinner. It's a chance for Komet to dispel old notions about manufacturing as dirty, unskilled work. "Our shop is air-conditioned and clean. And you have the opportunity to make a good living," says Kevin Brown The name Kevin Brown can refer to several different people, including the following:
During their freshman year, interested students follow a course plan featuring machine technology classes as electives as well as appropriate applied math and English classes. Thus begins a four-year commitment to the program as soon as the students start school.
During the junior year, students are placed inca TMA member company as summer interns This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . . As the brochure at Streamwood High School Streamwood High School, or SHS, is a public four-year high school located in Streamwood, Illinois, a north-west suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Elgin Area School District U46, which also includes Bartlett High School, Larkin High School, notes, program graduates are promised:
* employment as an apprentice A person who agrees to work for a specified time in order to learn a trade, craft, or profession in which the employer, traditionally called the master, assents to instruct him or her. precision metal-worker with a TMA-member company;
* ability to pass TMA's entrance tests and enroll in TMA's college-credited Related Theory Program;
* ability to complete course work leading to an associate degree;
* opportunity to become a journeyman metalworker; and
* then the ability to "flow seamlessly" into the Illinois Institute of Technology's Bachelor of Manufacturing Technology program as a junior.
Komet's Mr Martin says people who come through the apprenticeship programs are solid employees. "They really know their stuff," he says. "Apprentices who come up through the ranks tend to be higher quality employees. They have learned practical skills, along with pinpointed academic classroom training."
First-year apprentice Steve Brown Steve Brown is the name of more than one person of note:
turned around; pivoted.
see rotated tibia. into a different Komet department every three months. "The best part," he acknowledges, "is that ! have a job. I got the job first and then went to school, rather than going to school hoping to find a job."
Admittedly, an apprenticeship program of this sort is a major investment. Komet invests $125,000 to put one apprentice through the program.
But the companies involved say the payback Payback
The length of time it takes to recover the initial cost of a project, without regard to the time value of money. is great. "As more people head for retirement," says Mr Martin, "I felt there was a vacuum and we would not be able to carry on day-to-day activities."