A headline in “The New York Times” last week said it all, “FACTORY JOBS RETURN, BUT EMPLOYERS FIND SKILLS SHORTAGE.” The article by Motoko Rich confirms many of the issues we’ve been examining over the past year and a half.

“ . . . manufacturers who want to expand find that hiring is not always easy. During the recession, domestic manufacturers appear to have accelerated the long-term move toward greater automation, laying off more of their lowest-paid workers and replacing them with cheaper labor abroad. . . . a number of manufacturers say that even if demand surges, they will never bring back many of the lower-skilled jobs, and that training is not yet delivering the skilled employees they need.”

After blogging about this dichotomy for some time now, we can narrow the reasons why “training is not delivering” down to two major issues:

1) “Lecture/reading” courses have failed at least half of our workforce. Only multi-sensory training will communicate effectively to this very sizable group.

2) Basic Skills training is as essential to two-thirds of our workforce as is specific industrial skills training.

Unfortunately, many corporate senior executives still believe in the outdated “lecture/reading” method as the only valid learning approach within their organizations. These executives are myopic at worst — and, at best, irresponsibly unaware of their employees’ learning demographics and the phenomenal results being attained through multi-sensory training.

As for Basic Skills, in addition to multi-sensory training, a quick “miraculous” fix would be for those same executives to require their college educated engineers to write work procedures and policies using a sixth grade vocabulary. Communication is a two-way street and ignoring today’s learning reality is to exacerbate the problems within our manufacturing and process industries.

I hope these executives wake up soon. America needs a much better trained workforce and the tools to do just that are, today, readily available!

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning