“Today, we’re looking for people who are interested in technical products, technology, robotics, automation,” said Mike McCarthy, Human Resources Leader at IFM Efector in Malvern. “Tomorrow, it’s limitless what your career could look like. We need people who manufacture ideas, people who can handle a product, understand it, and communicate it to a customer.”
Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million jobs will be needed. However, two million are expected to go unfilled due to a skills gap.
The Technical College High School (TCHS) Pickering Campus – located on Charlestown Road in Phoenixville – is filling that gap, as it debuted a new Engineering & Automated Manufacturing Technology program and Precision CNC Machining program for high school students this school year. Additionally, TCHS expanded its Robotics program to Robotics & Avionics.
As it prepares students for the not-so-distant future, the school will host AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Premier), a manufacturing expo and all-day event, on Dec. 11.
Last year, TCHS had the opportunity to speak with students, faculty, and industry partners about the state of advanced manufacturing in Chester County, and they unanimously agree that the skills required by the industry are increasing.
“If you look at the news, robots are the future,” said Paul Doyle, Technical Trainer at IFM. “What they don’t tell you is that someone has to service those robots, someone has to design those robots, someone has to program those robots.”
Advanced manufacturing is one of the top STEM fields for career opportunity. Furthermore, manufacturers in the U.S. perform more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D) in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector.
“We’re going to need more and more electronics technicians and robotics engineers,” said TCHS instructor John Cilladi. “The Greater Philadelphia region is a hotbed of technological activity.”
“Packaging lines are becoming more and more sophisticated,” said Glenn Siegele, President of Omega Design Corporation in Exton. “All the machines are computer-driven. They incorporate intelligent motors. We need critical thinkers that have these skills.”
The average U.S. manufacturing worker in 2015 earned $81,289 annually, in pay and benefits. This is 27 percent more than the average worker in all non-farming industries.
Companies that are involved in any facet of the manufacturing industry are encouraged to consider exhibiting at AMP. Click here for more information.
Click here to watch a video on how to know if manufacturing is for you.
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