Training for the Future Manufacturers Offer Deals to Get Qualified Workers
Culloton, Dan, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Dan Culloton Daily Herald Business Writer
CORRECTION/date 05-01-1997: Median wages for some classes of workers in the tooling and manufacturing industry in a graphic were based on a 50-hour work week, which is not uncommon in the industry.
Wages in waiting
Many in the tooling and manufacturing industry are perplexed by the shortage of skilled labor, especially since they say their wages compare favorably to other professions.
Career Median annual income* Tool & die maker $53,200 Mold maker $52,920 Machinist $44,996 Metalworking apprentice $21,000 Professional with bachelor's degree $39,832 Service occupations $14,612 High school graduate $21,008 Non-high school graduates $16,224
*Tool and die maker, moldmaker, machinists and metal working apprentice figures are from 1994. The rest are from 1992.
Source: The Tooling and Manufacturing Association
Anthony Dupasquier did not need a government report to tell him education and training will be crucial for the future of the Midwestern economy.
His own company, Aro Metal Stamping Company Inc. of Roselle, has struggled mightily to find qualified workers for openings at all levels for years.
In fact, in recent years his industry and others have been developing ways to increase the pool of qualified workers instead of clawing and scratching for depleted reserves of skilled labor.
So when a highly anticipated analysis issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago last week said training will become increasingly crucial as the region's labor market tightens, Dupasquier and other manufacturers were not surprised.
"I think they've finally caught up to where we are," said Dupasquier, chairman of Tooling and Manufacturing Association, a Park Ridge-based industry group. "I think the report is right on."
Since 1990 the Tooling and Manufacturing Association has worked with a several local schools, community colleges and technical schools to develop programs that will help increase its pool of qualified workers.
Local plastics manufacturers and other industries have developed similar programs while area community colleges and high school districts have increased their cooperation with the business sector on school-to-work programs.
It's all in response to employers' incessant complaints and concerns about the quality of job seekers. …