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  • Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required (NYTimes)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/e...ticeships.html

    <quote>
    When the German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C., some 10,000 people showed up at a job fair for 800 positions. But fewer than 15 percent of the applicants were able to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education.

    “In our factories, there’s a computer about every 20 or 30 feet,” said Eric Spiegel, who recently retired as president and chief executive of Siemens U.S.A. “People on the plant floor need to be much more skilled than they were in the past. There are no jobs for high school graduates at Siemens today.”
    ...
    <endquote>

  • #2
    I tried to tell people that ignorance is not a virtue. Bragging that you've never had to use that "fancy math" or "read another book" since school locks you out of far far more jobs than you realize.

    On top of that it's not just reading you need to comprehend. Too many people don't comprehend what they read. The ability to gather disparate datapoints and create a conclusion then act on it... it's sadly not present in a majority of people I encounter. "How do you know how to do that --" Uh it's not hard, I look at it and I know that this needs that and that needs that too and this part goes over here. It's an innate talent, learned thought process and a desire to be more than a button pushing moron who consumes whatever the media is pushing right this second.

    Friend of mine got out of the Army applied to a gas-turbine factory. He had extensive experience in GT technology and repair and they turned him away. Why? Because while he could DO he couldn't pass the reading and comprehensive math test. I recall him telling me that it was "bull****" that he had to know things like the metric system, decimal division and simple equation solving.

    Well dems da breaks. You have to be up with what employers demand because they decide who gets the job, not you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
      Friend of mine got out of the Army applied to a gas-turbine factory. He had extensive experience in GT technology and repair and they turned him away. Why? Because while he could DO, he couldn't pass the reading and comprehensive math test.
      I think that BOTH parties lost out on that occasion.

      Maybe the company happened to be all stocked up with guys w/ extensive experience on that day.

      Maybe.

      But more likely, someone in middle management had signed an order stating "Thou shalt have attained a certificate/degree in such & such from an accredited institution...", leaving HR no choice but to comply.

      Originally posted by Max McGrumpy
      I recall him telling me that it was "bull****" that he had to know things like the metric system, decimal division and simple equation solving.
      If this was his general outlook and not just the result of frustration from being turned down, then no, he would likely NOT be a good fit in a progressive firm.

      OTOH. The guy obviously has a clue or two in order to have achieved the present level of experience he possesses. Organizations are foolish to pass up opportunities to bring guys like this into the fold and provide them with the training they need to fill in the gaps.

      Comment


      • #4
        That company missed out. He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yep I made the mistake of not completing college 40 years ago and it still haunts me. It took me 4 years to find a new job despite the fact I was the top designer at the job I already had. I didn't get that job directly, I worked there part time in the shop. When I turned down the offer to go full time they decided to try me in the engineering position.

          While working there I was asked to give a moments notice presentation to the California Plumbing code board on Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis membrane systems. Afterwards one of the six Phds in room said "Wow you really know your stuff! Where did you go to school?" Gotta love it. As if I didn't learn anything in the following 35 years!

          Comment


          • #6
            Yep, things are changing, even on the production floor.

            Long time ago I was looking for a couple of machinists. Two guys came together to talk about the jobs. They both claimed to be journeymen machinists, meaning they must have gone through some sort of lengthy apprenticeship. I asked if they had worked in a shop with CNC machines. The reply was, "we ain't got no use for computers". My immediate thought was, I "ain't" got no use for you.

            I felt sorry for them, mid-fifties, laid off from a shop that now needed computer and CNC skills. Their mistake was not keeping up with coming technology even if it wasn't a requirement of their current positions. Their long ago earned journeyman status wasn't serving them anymore with the rapid changes in machining and manufacturing.

            Same is going to happen to workers expecting their high paid manufacturing jobs to come back to this country. No doubt, the work will come back with automation, not the jobs though.

            I always tell young guys interested in machining to learn CNC's/CAD/CAM and forget the nonsense about needing to know manual machining skills prior to CNC.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is nothing new in industry. Back in the 1980's the company I worked for was opening new production plants across the US. One of the primary qualifications was to have a 4 year degree for those applying for maintenance positions. For the roughly 80 maintenance positions in one plant there were over 1,000 applications.

              All of the applicants that were hired did have a 4 year degree. The starting wage at the time was only $9.00 per hour plus benefits that included a pension plan, health and life insurance, vacation, sick days, etc, etc. A few years later the pension plan was replaced with a 401K with a company match up to 6% of the employees salary. Those that made it through the 90 day initiation period got substantial salary increases.

              Over 90% of those hired during the initial phase stayed with the company over 25 years. Over 60% remain with the company and will be retiring within the next 5 years. It may sound like the companies are asking a lot, but when you hire the right people for the job it's win for both the company and the employee

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
                He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.
                Steps to upgrade in the interim, or since ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tlfamm View Post
                  ...German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C....[applicants need] to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education... “There are no jobs for high school graduates at Siemens today.”
                  Maybe it's my 8th grade reading skills, but something seems "non-sequiturish" with these two statements.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tlfamm View Post
                    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/e...ticeships.html

                    <quote>
                    When the German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C., some 10,000 people showed up at a job fair for 800 positions. But fewer than 15 percent of the applicants were able to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education.
                    <endquote>
                    Even scarier than the implications for production/blue-collar/factory/"maga"-jobs, is that less than 15% of the people applying could pass a test oriented towards 9th grade-level reading/writing/math.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Machine View Post
                      Maybe it's my 8th grade reading skills, but something seems "non-sequiturish" with these two statements.
                      Nope.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fjk View Post
                        ... is that less than 15% of the people applying could pass a test oriented towards 9th grade-level reading/writing/math.
                        But watch your back going up against them in O/L FPS games.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Listen to the music

                          Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
                          I tried to tell people that ignorance is not a virtue. Bragging that you've never had to use that "fancy math" or "read another book" since school locks you out of far far more jobs than you realize.


                          Well dems da breaks. You have to be up with what employers demand because they decide who gets the job, not you.
                          Country music and now,rap music has been celebrating low living and ignorance for years.Edwin Dirnbeck
                          ,

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                            I think that BOTH parties lost out on that occasion.

                            Maybe the company happened to be all stocked up with guys w/ extensive experience on that day.

                            Maybe.

                            But more likely, someone in middle management had signed an order stating "Thou shalt have attained a certificate/degree in such & such from an accredited institution...", leaving HR no choice but to comply.

                            If this was his general outlook and not just the result of frustration from being turned down, then no, he would likely NOT be a good fit in a progressive firm.

                            OTOH. The guy obviously has a clue or two in order to have achieved the present level of experience he possesses. Organizations are foolish to pass up opportunities to bring guys like this into the fold and provide them with the training they need to fill in the gaps.
                            Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
                            That company missed out. He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.
                            A lot of jobs are disappearing. In many areas it's a buyer's market, so companies can afford to be picky with their hires. Why would a company hire someone that can't pass basic reading and math tests, when they can hire someone else with the same technical skills that can also read and do math?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
                              That company missed out. He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.
                              Sometimes it's the unique skill set...

                              My current job I applied for twice, the skill set was ME - IT skills in depth, optical networking, satellite comms, electronics test and measurement, I suspect there are perhaps a dozen or so matches in the UK? I wasn't even put forward by the recruitment agency because... I don't have a degree.
                              Four months later, the same job spec. advertised direct, put my CV in by email, called within a half hour to see if I could come in for an interview... on the way home, call to a second interview, when I got home from that, call "are YOU still interested?"

                              But... both the company and I could have missed out purely because a recruitment "professional" followed a script, and wasn't looking for a Journeyman.

                              Dave H. (the other one)
                              Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men.

                              Holbrook Model C Number 13 lathe, Testa 2U universal mill, bikes and tools

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