Virginia’s Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant shares its strategies for attracting, hiring and supporting its workers, while Danville Community College excels with its integrated machining education model.
Photo: This worktable demonstrates some of the more interesting parts students are tasked with machining in the Gene Haas Center. Rather than take contracts from customers, the program focuses on giving students work that ensures that they leave with core competencies in milling, grinding, EDM, tool presetting and metrology.
A recurring topic of discussion during my recent trip touring Virginian manufacturing facilities was labor: finding it, hiring it, training it. For some manufacturers, the local reality is that there are not enough already-skilled people looking for work. Hiring under these circumstances entails offering access to technical education of some kind, or a lot of on-the-job training. On the other hand, some other manufacturers have been able to partner with local higher-education institutions in order to establish “pipelines” of people with the skills necessary to begin work with less additional training.