If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.(Proverbs 18:13)
I am about to get on my soap box: People are too caught up in job titles. I will be the first to admit that I have left a few organizations because my title did not reflect my perceived level of responsibility and delivered results (I am an admitted work-in-process). But this post is not about me. As I work more with the next generation of manufacturers, I realize that we are using the wrong messaging in getting students engaged or excited about job opportunities and potential careers in manufacturing.
Workforce professionals like to use occupational codes to analyze and assess the skills and training needs of for specific jobs and titles. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) based system adopted by businesses, training and educational institutions, labor and occupational organizations, and professional associations to measure and report trends in the US labor market. The system provides a clinical and theoretical process for comparing job titles, but the words used have little to no appeal in enticing millennials to consider manufacturing careers. (For more information on occupational codes, visit https://www.onetonline.org/).
There is a lot of discussion about developing career pathways to address current and projected labor shortages. As we all know, the career pathway model preached for my generation has proven ineffective because everyone does not fit into the model of high school to four year college to career. And frankly, many well-paying jobs do not require a college degree. What success does require is a systematic approach to get to a desired outcome. So for example, a career pathway metal manufacturing suggests a student progresses throughSOC Code 51-4031           Cutting, Punching, Setting, and Tender OperatorSOC Code 51-4041           MachinistSOC Code 51-4011           CNC Machine Tool OperatorSOC Code 51-4012           CNC Machine Tool Programmer
I can still remember some of my early career decisions. If someone had approached me with the above manufacturing career path, I would have immediately been turned off. I could not have related the information to anything happening around me at the time. However, if the message was tailored to describe a company or a product that excited me, I may have made some different decisions about the jobs I took, and the skills needed, along the route of earning a degree in industrial engineering. Thinking back, it still amazes me that no one ever approached or discussed apprenticeships, another valuable tool that I may have overlooked because of misunderstood phrasing, or even worse, job titles…

As a workforce readiness ambassador for manufacturing, I have to constantly remind myself that it is not about me. So when I want to describe a job using an O*NET code, primarily because of future ease of reporting, I have to purposely remember that academic and industry terms do not resonate with students who may have never been exposed to a job title, and the subsequent skills needed to land a job. I have to give answers and examples that are relevant for the audience I am trying to reach. How are you spreading the message of your jobs and good works so that the people you are trying to attract hear you?  Feel free to comment or send me an email to latanyua.robinson@gmail.com. If you like this post and want to catch up on some of my previous discussions, please visit the full Purposed Work blog at http://ltr-latrobe-mfg.blogspot.com/.

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.(Proverbs 18:13)
I am about to get on my soap box: People are too caught up in job titles. I will be the first to admit that I have left a few organizations because my title did not reflect my perceived level of responsibility and delivered results (I am an admitted work-in-process). But this post is not about me. As I work more with the next generation of manufacturers, I realize that we are using the wrong messaging in getting students engaged or excited about job opportunities and potential careers in manufacturing.
Workforce professionals like to use occupational codes to analyze and assess the skills and training needs of for specific jobs and titles. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) based system adopted by businesses, training and educational institutions, labor and occupational organizations, and professional associations to measure and report trends in the US labor market. The system provides a clinical and theoretical process for comparing job titles, but the words used have little to no appeal in enticing millennials to consider manufacturing careers. (For more information on occupational codes, visit https://www.onetonline.org/).
There is a lot of discussion about developing career pathways to address current and projected labor shortages. As we all know, the career pathway model preached for my generation has proven ineffective because everyone does not fit into the model of high school to four year college to career. And frankly, many well-paying jobs do not require a college degree. What success does require is a systematic approach to get to a desired outcome. So for example, a career pathway metal manufacturing suggests a student progresses throughSOC Code 51-4031           Cutting, Punching, Setting, and Tender OperatorSOC Code 51-4041           MachinistSOC Code 51-4011           CNC Machine Tool OperatorSOC Code 51-4012           CNC Machine Tool Programmer
I can still remember some of my early career decisions. If someone had approached me with the above manufacturing career path, I would have immediately been turned off. I could not have related the information to anything happening around me at the time. However, if the message was tailored to describe a company or a product that excited me, I may have made some different decisions about the jobs I took, and the skills needed, along the route of earning a degree in industrial engineering. Thinking back, it still amazes me that no one ever approached or discussed apprenticeships, another valuable tool that I may have overlooked because of misunderstood phrasing, or even worse, job titles…

As a workforce readiness ambassador for manufacturing, I have to constantly remind myself that it is not about me. So when I want to describe a job using an O*NET code, primarily because of future ease of reporting, I have to purposely remember that academic and industry terms do not resonate with students who may have never been exposed to a job title, and the subsequent skills needed to land a job. I have to give answers and examples that are relevant for the audience I am trying to reach. How are you spreading the message of your jobs and good works so that the people you are trying to attract hear you?  Feel free to comment or send me an email to latanyua.robinson@gmail.com. If you like this post and want to catch up on some of my previous discussions, please visit the full Purposed Work blog at http://ltr-latrobe-mfg.blogspot.com/.