November 16, 2016

As I’ve written many times, if you wait for community colleges to effectively train your workforce, you’ll be waiting a long time.

Without an emphasis on simulations and media-based instruction, few of our current crop of young people will ever learn enough from the traditional “lecture-reading-testing” teaching model that still prevails in many community colleges.

In most cases, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

So, how should you go about it?

The key to successful training is to make it an integral part of your organization’s business objectives.  Up-front planning helps ensure that your investment in training will deliver measurable results.  Your goal is to make training a cost-effective solution that supports the business objectives of your organization.

With these thoughts in mind, here’s an insightful segment from an article by Michael Collins, “Why America Has a Shortage of Skilled Workers” that appeared in IndustryWeek.

“There seems to be a big disconnect between what all of the studies have said is needed in advanced skill training and the training that is actually being conducted. The typical factory today is very automated; it is normal to have, programmable logic controllers, computers, robots, palletizers and a host of other automatic packaging equipment. In my opinion, to troubleshoot, operate and maintain this kind of equipment requires apprentice type training that will lead to a journeyman level of skills.

 The following is a simple profile of skills that are needed to work in one of these automated plants:

 —Mechanical ability, including assembly; drilling and tapping; welding and assembling bearings, sprockets, chains and sub-assemblies.

 —Working knowledge of pneumatics and hydraulics

 —Ability to read and understand mechanical and electrical prints

 —Ability to use troubleshooting methodologies for all equipment in the plant

 —Am understanding of all programmable logic controllers, including troubleshooting ladder logic and re-programming

 —Ability to rewire machines and understand variable drives, device net, ether net, and control net systems  .  .  .

 Year after year, the large corporations have invested in more automation and complex machinery to eliminate labor, but do not seem to want to invest in the comprehensive training programs that will increase the skill levels of the employees to maintain, troubleshoot and repair what they have installed.”

Above all, to be successful, training must be integral.  It is as important to your organization as almost any initiative you undertake.  Do it the right way!

Most often, that means, “do it yourself!”  Your organization will get a bigger payback from you and your team than it will from any outside entity.

And, as many other organizations have discovered, if you base your instruction on simulation, media-based learning and gaming, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly (and, well) your trainees progress from classroom to shop floor.

More on Monday  –  –  –

         — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)