Plastics Machining and the Skills Gap: What the Future Looks Like
One of the many reasons why plastics machining is so important is because the material itself is so malleable – it can essentially be anything you need it to be at any moment given the specifics of the goal you’re trying to accomplish. This doesn’t just require the types of proprietary equipment and systems that JMJ Profile, Inc. has been developing over the last two decades – it requires a level of skill and precision that allow creativity and craft to blend together to form something much more meaningful for our customers.
This is also why it’s essential to always have one eye fixed firmly on the future, particularly in the plastics machining industry. Case in point: there is a growing skills gap in machining in general that has a number of significant implications for companies like ours moving forward.
The Skills Gap: What’s Happening?
The idea of an “expertise shortage” is predicated on studies like the Manufacturing Institute’s 2015 Skills Gap Report, which predicts that there will be more than 3.5 million highly specialized manufacturing job openings that will go unfilled between now and 2025.
“Ground zero” of this phenomenon can be traced back to the Baby Boomer generation – one filled with people who were historically more likely to go to trade school instead of college. As Baby Boomers retire, and as the industry in general continues to try to recover from the trying economic times of the mid-2000s, there are simply not enough trained younger people to take their place.
All of this is made worse by the fact that young people typically have a negative first impression of manufacturing in general, as well as a lack of the necessary STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education that make machining a viable career choice in the first place.
Addressing Those Challenges
At JMJ Profile, Inc., we believe that addressing this skills gap begins first and foremost with getting the younger generations excited about plastics machining to begin with. The industry itself has changed dramatically over the last few decades, particularly when it comes to the types of materials we work with daily.
By making an emphasis on creating a more exciting impression of the industry through the use of hands-on experience with techniques like 3D printing, and by informing young people that plastics machining can be just as creatively fulfilling as other enterprises, we stand a terrific chance at mitigating these risks and bouncing back as an industry stronger than ever before.
These are just a few of the important consideration that we as an industry need to be making in terms of plastics machining and the skills gap that we’re now facing. This is a large part of the reason why we at JMJ Profile, Inc. have always made an effort to guarantee that our skills and experience in plastic machining are uniquely aligned with the meticulous requirements of the exacting, high-performance materials we’re working with.
For the past 20 years we’ve proudly served as pioneers in terms of innovative machining solutions, allowing us to exist at the perfect confluence of creativity and reliability, creating better and more stable outcomes for our clients while addressing the challenges inherent in issues like the skills gap at the exact same time.