Executive Outlook 2012: As Always, Education Will Continue To Be Key
EP Editorial Staff | August 16, 2012
Today’s global economy allows companies to design, source, manufacture and sell from an intricate web of locations based on a variety of factors, including customer sites, talent base, supply quality and availability and logistics costs. Fluke is a global corporation serving a global customer base with a global footprint. We operate every one of our facilities worldwide on the same lean manufacturing principles and to the same high standards of quality.
As a developed economy, the United States and its manufacturing base have been faced with the challenge of doing more with less for some time: operating older factories at higher levels of output, with increasing amounts of automation that, in turn, requires continuous training for operations and maintenance teams who carry ever-broadening job descriptions. The U.S. benefits from a smart, lean, experienced talent pool. This has certainly helped it compete in a dynamic global marketplace—and has been an important variable in many companies’ decisions to bring manufacturing back to this country. Maintaining that competitive edge in the future will require building and replenishing this talent base.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, experience and mentoring is critically important for preparing the future generation of technicians, electricians and engineers. Rising to this challenge will require the U.S. to bolster its STEM education in K-12, attract talented youth into targeted vocational training, as well into four-year and advanced degree programs, and leverage on-the-job training/mentorship.
Fluke supports a variety of different workforce training initiatives—including K-12, post-secondary, trades and continuing education. The manufacturing sector needs a larger supply of people trained to think on their feet, to troubleshoot and diagnose and to communicate across teams. Starting with the essentials of math and science on up to secondary programs that couple hands-on training with in-class instruction and then to employer-sponsored training programs, education is at the root of America’s future success as a continued global manufacturing powerhouse. MT