LATROBE, Pa., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT) Chairman, President and CEO Carlos Cardoso addresses misconceptions about manufacturing careers and challenges the industry to rebrand what it means to be a manufacturer today in a Manufacturing Engineering viewpoints column.
With more than half-million manufacturing jobs available today, and 2.7 million Baby Boomers expected to retire in the next decade, Cardoso presents the truth about manufacturing and busts the myths citing data from a survey Kennametal conducted in 2011 gauging the American public's perception of manufacturing including:
- Only 11 percent of people believe the manufacturing industry is growing, and more than two-thirds think the problem is a lack of jobs, rather than the lack of skilled talent to fill the jobs.
- Over 70 percent of Americans said they wouldn't recommend manufacturing as a career for their children.
"If we know "manufacturing" is a dirty word to the majority of Americans, why not consider a new name that defines today's reality?" said Cardoso. "A better label is industrial technology. Positioned as the "new IT", industrial technology is digitally-driven, smart production. It is the future of America, ripe with opportunities for a new generation digital-savvy talent."
He also explores the lucrative career opportunities in manufacturing, calling on industry to be the change and serve as a catalyst by partnering with high schools, career centers, technical institutions and community colleges to match young people with training and education that we need and they can put to work immediately, while earning great pay ($40,000 and up with benefits) and stackable credentials to apply toward further education, from associates' degrees to PhDs.
"We also must advocate for policy change, to coordinate and leverage federal, state and interagency workforce programs that are accountable for results; to overhaul an education system that blindly promotes the conventional four-year college path, when it is driving more kids to arts and sciences programs than we have careers to support them," said Cardoso. "We cannot sustain a system that leaves jobless graduates (and parents) holding a ballooning bag of college-loan debts for which they don't have means to repay."
Named one of America's "Best Chief Executive Officers" (Institutional Investor), Carlos Cardoso serves as chairman of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI); on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and its Workforce Task Force; and on the U.S. Manufacturing Council, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Workforce Development and Manufacturing Perceptions. In addition to Kennametal's extensive talent development efforts, Cardoso in 2012 founded the company's Young Engineers Program, offering advanced manufacturing curriculum and career practicum for high school students.
Celebrating more than 75 years as an industrial technology leader, Kennametal Inc. delivers productivity to customers seeking peak performance in demanding environments. The company provides innovative wear-resistant products, application engineering and services backed by advanced material science, serving customers in 60 countries across diverse sectors of aerospace, earthworks, energy, industrial production, transportation and infrastructure. With approximately 14,000 employees and nearly $3 billion in sales, the company realizes half of its revenue from outside North America, and 40% globally from innovations introduced in the past five years. Recognized among the "World's Most Ethical Companies" (Ethisphere); "Outstanding Corporate Innovator" (Product Development Management Association); and "America's Safest Companies" (EHS Today) with a focus on 100% safety, Kennametal and its foundation invest in technical education, industrial technologies and material science to deliver the promise of progress and economic prosperity to people everywhere. For more information, visit the company's website at www.kennametal.com.
SOURCE Kennametal Inc.