The Irrefutable Need To Fill the Manufacturing Skills Gap – Get the Right Asses in the Right Seats to Grow Your Business

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manufacturing Today we are continuing our series on The Seven Irrefutable Laws of Manufacturing Business Growth. To review, here are the 7 Irrefutable Laws of Manufacturing Business Growth:


  1. Your Company Must Be Highly Visible
  2. You Have to Have the Right Asses In the Right Seats
  3. You Must Work On Your Business, Not Just In Your Business
  4. You Must Market Yourself and Your Company
  5. Keep Current With Technology
  6. Diversification of Your Customer Base
  7. Expand Through Acquisition

Today we’re taking a closer look at Number 2, The Irrefutable Need to Fill the Manufacturing Skills Gap – Getting the Right Asses In the Right Seats.  In the original article we spoke a lot about the problems associated with hiring family. Companies with fewer than 100 employees make up over 94% of all U.S. manufacturers. Small companies usually mean that family is involved.  I don’t want to spend a bunch of time on this issue, because there are more difficult issues for manufacturers trying to fill jobs. The bottom line with family members is this: If they are NOT doing the job, FIRE THEM! You are not doing them a favor by keeping them. They are learning poor work habits with your aid, which will not serve them well if they are ever forced out by your death or the demise of your company. It is not selfish to worry about your company first. You can’t help anybody if you don’t have a solid foundation yourself.  And….how much consideration is that family member giving you? Not showing up to work because their weekend was too “rough” or lying on their time-sheet shows incredible disrespect for you. If you allow it, they will continue to mistreat you.

Enough said about family members.

Let’s look at the larger issue of finding qualified manufacturing employees with the appropriate skills.

It seems everywhere you turn there is a blog or news report on the “manufacturing skills gap.”  I see little out there about where and how to find skilled manufacturing workers. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Consider recruiting someone right out of school.There are pros and cons to this. Depending on the job requirement, someone just out of school might not have the experience necessary to fill the position. That being said, this isn’t “your father’s manufacturing industry.” In decades past many manufacturing workers were not educated beyond high school. Today’s industry is high tech and highly competitive!  I LOVE this method of hiring. I would so much rather have someone fresh out of school to train the way I want them trained. They have less baggage and less bad attitude.

So, assuming you’re sold on the idea, how do you find them? Start with your local technical institute. Many of the State Manufacturing Associations will list on their web sites all the area technical schools. Start there! Consider also, that you may be able to try someone out BEFORE making a commitment by offering an internship to the local students. That’s like finding out if the chick can “cook” before committing to the relationship….I digress! But I’m sure you get the point. Internships are a way to test the waters and figure out if the potential candidate is a good fit. Here are some other places to look:

  1. Check out  The ITT Technical institute has 85 locations in 30 states.  Specifically the school has a Manufacturing Process and Industrial Automation Engineering program that may fit the bill for manufacturers seeking to hire someone fresh out of school.
  2. The Manufacturing Institute and University of Phoenix have partnered to create and implement programs that provide educational pathways for manufacturing working learners. Launched in 2011, the University’s Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Manufacturing Sector is an innovative degree program developed with the Institute. It bridges the concepts of strategic organizational management, microeconomics, supply chain management and leadership in manufacturing, and emphasizes a company’s need to grow and maintain a competitive workforce.  Find more information about the Institute’s partnership with the University of Phoenix here:
  3. The Manufacturing Institute recognizes that men and women who serve in the military receive exceptional training and develop strong skills sets, many of which are directly related to manufacturing. manufacturing The Institute has worked with several branches of the military and the White House to connect transitioning service members to the numerous open manufacturing jobs in the United States. All veterans have an MOS—a Military Occupational Specialty code—that classifies the job they performed in the service. Until recently, most companies had no easy way to verify the MOS of candidates and determine a match to the skills and abilities needed in civilian jobs. That problem is about to disappear, thanks to new Internet technology for a Military Manufacturing Badge. You can now find the MOS, along with the civilian manufacturing skills the veteran candidate demonstrated in the military online. Candidates with priority skills such as welding and machining are now available at the click of a mouse. Manufacturers will connect directly with military bases and Badge-holders via an online match on, a new one-stop resource for jobs in the manufacturing industry.
  4. Consider hiring an employment agency to simplify and streamline your search. Don’t know of one? Check out the national association here:
  5. Make friends with an Industrial Auctioneer. Many companies being auctioned off have a wealth of talent that are losing their jobs through no fault of their own. As an Industrial Auctioneer I receive calls every month from savvy manufacturers asking about talent coming out of a particular location. We have been instrumental in placing dozens of displaced manufacturing workers in new positions all over the country.  I’m sure I’m not the only Industrial Auctioneer and Manufacturing Business Broker that provides this service to our machine tool buyers. Here’s where you can find my competitors: Our association has a national auction calendar. Call every industrial auctioneer that is doing an auction within your area of expertise. Your ideal new employee might only be a phone call away!

In summary, get rid of the dead weight and DO IT NOW. The survival of your manufacturing business may depend on it! Forget the local newspaper – there are quicker, easier and cheaper ways to find the right ass for the right seat! Next month we will take a look at another one of the Seven Irrefutable Laws of Manufacturing Business Growth, Working ON Your Business, Not Just IN Your Business. Do you own a business or do you own a “job?”

Best wishes for continued success in the New Year! Remember….If you build it, I can sell it!   Growth for the Manufacturing Industry is our aim, and we’ll give you the tools to do it.

Accelerated Buy Sell, Inc.

Fran Brunelle is an industrial auctioneer with almost 20 years experience, a manufacturing business broker, licensed real estate broker specializing in industrial properties, a real estate auctioneer, certified appraiser and author.  Fran has established several corporations that provide services to the manufacturing industry. The “Accelerated Group of Companies” provides tools and services to help manufacturers grow and exit strategies to maximize dollars when they are ready to retire or sell their manufacturing business.  The group of companies that Fran Brunelle has established includes: – Provides Online Industrial Auction Services, Used Equipment Auctions, Capital Equipment Auctions, Plant Liquidations, Industrial Plant Cleanout Services, Used Machinery Location Services, Certified Machine Tool and Equipment Appraisals, and more. – Specializes in Manufacturing Business Brokerage and Mergers and Acquisitions.  We help manufacturers develop exit strategies to maximize retirement dollars, and successful manufacturers expand through acquisition of other manufacturing companies, product lines and customer lists.  Manufacturing Companies for sale throughout the United States are listed on this site. – Provides Industrial Real Estate Brokerage Services, Online Real Estate Auctions, Sealed Bid Real Estate Auctions and complete industrial facility cleanout services. – Provides funding for products made in the USA, and engineering/manufacturing educational needs through Crowd Funding. – Provides web development and social media services for manufacturers at under-market rates.

Fran Brunelle is a contributing author to: - A site that provides the latest manufacturing news, statistics and opinion.   It also provides information on how to grow a manufacturing business, and what to do if you are a manufacturing company that needs to close. - Provides the latest information on social media and web development for manufacturers.  It gives manufacturers tips and tricks for boosting their web presence.

About Frances Brunelle

Fran Brunelle is an industrial auctioneer with 20 years experience, a manufacturing business broker, licensed real estate broker specializing in industrial properties, a real estate auctioneer, certified appraiser and author.

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