Connect with Students: STEM Careers in Cutting Tools and Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry as a whole, and particularly the cutting tools sector, have been forming quiet partnerships with high schools across the nation. Their aim is to educate students about the enriching career prospects they can provide. Companies within these industries have built relationships with schools to dispel the myths surrounding job viability and prospects.
From specific programs and initiatives to a broader campaign to reeducate young people on the nature of careers within the manufacturing industry, great work is being done across the country to help students and their parents realize how promising STEM careers in cutting tools and manufacturing can be.
WHAT STUDIES SHOW
Recent studies have exposed a great amount of disparity between what students and parents envision as promising career paths and their understanding of how the cutting tools industry can deliver. When inquired about the state of STEM education within the K-12 system, a majority of parents expressed the belief that there’s substantial scope for betterment. An overwhelming 93 percent of parents with K-12 children asserted that STEM education ought to be a leading concern for the U.S. However, in a stark contrast, only about 49 percent felt that the nation truly places it at the top of its educational priorities. This reveals a discernible gap between what parents see as important and what they perceive as the country’s looming and potentially disastrous STEM talent shortage in manufacturing.
BRIDGING THE GAP
It was recognition of this gulf of knowledge that inspired some of the industry’s most well-known and respected companies to bridge the gap by connecting directly with high school students. Through hands-on programs and other initiatives, many leading manufacturing companies, firms, and other organizations—such as Ford and Boeing—are now partnering with high schools across the country to discover STEM talents, encouraging these valuable minds to pursue an education and a career that will lessen the talent gap in an increasingly understaffed part of the manufacturing sector.
One of the greatest examples of these endeavors is Caterpillar’s E4Life Program. Caterpillar continues to expand their efforts to connect with high school students and their parents, then created a program that not only offered them specific insight on the opportunities of the manufacturing industry but also provided help with several life skills, including mentoring, budgeting, and financing. The core of this highly successful program focuses on providing students with hands-on experience in the cutting tools industry that equipped them with specific technical skills and created real career outcomes for those involved.
Ford also recognizes the growing importance of STEM, emphasizing it as a cornerstone in their transformation into a technology-driven company. By collaborating with initiatives like FIRST Robotics and their flagship High School Science and Technology Program (HSSTP), Ford is paving the way for interested students and fresh graduates to explore STEM careers in cutting tool and manufacturing. Their goal is not just to spotlight Ford as a significant player in the tech industry but also to inspire the youth to consider STEM-focused education.
In 2023, Ford’s HSSTP is set to conduct three sessions at their Research and Engineering Facilities in Dearborn and nearby locations, showcasing their dedication to molding the future STEM talent. This investment in STEM is a testament to Ford’s vision of attracting the best and brightest to drive their technological evolution.
At Davalyn, we are excited about the promising future of the cutting tools industry, but we are also aware of the challenges it faces in regard to talent shortage. We believe outreach programs like the ones promoted by Caterpillar and Ford provide essential education to the next generation who could pursue potential STEM careers in cutting tools and manufacturing.
With our extensive industry experience and vast database and resources, we have always been committed to meeting even the most challenging talent demands of cutting tools organizations, and we are optimistic that these types of programs help build a new and growing pipeline of experience talent for years to come.
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