William Gary: 'Manufacturing is now very high-tech'
February 07, 2017
Manufacturing is an industry working toward an image update, according to several local executives, including Cuyahoga Community College’s William Gary.
Gary, Tri-C’s executive vice president of workforce, community and economic development, recently spoke with Smart Business Akron/Canton about the state of manufacturing, including the need to overcome longstanding stereotypes about the industry, and even more importantly, how manufacturing companies can work with local colleges to inspire young people to enter manufacturing.
The manufacturing space is experiencing a rapid aging. More and more skilled workers are reaching retirement age with relatively few young workers replacing them. It’s largely because manufacturing is still viewed as unsafe and hazardous labor for minimally-skilled workers – a career path unappealing to tech-savvy high school and college students sizing up their career options.
Gary, however, says that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Manufacturing has developed into a field that requires advanced skills in technology, and it is up to manufacturing companies and their educational partners to provide the training necessary to attract and retain young talent.
“No longer is manufacturing the smokestack environment that I knew when I moved into the steel industry right after my undergraduate work,” Gary told Smart Business. “Manufacturing is now very high-tech. And so, collectively, not only the community college but also the industry as a whole needs to collaborate more to market the benefits, the job opportunities and the wage opportunities that are associated with the manufacturing industry.”
The full Smart Business article is available to read here.