Can Robots Bridge the Skills Gap?

On Dec. 12, the Association for Advancing Automation (A3; Ann Arbor, Mich.) released a report on automation technology sales in North America for the first nine months of 2017, noting that the industry was “shattering” records in sales of robotics, machine vision, motion control, and motor technologies.

Two days later on Dec. 14, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) hosted a webinar—Future Growth Opportunities and the Current State of the U.S. Plastics Industry—breaking down the sector’s threats and opportunities, among other topics. PLASTICS President and CEO Bill Carteaux opened the webinar and stated directly at the end of his comments that, “The skills gap threatens continued growth in our industry and all U.S. manufacturing.”

During a Q&A, PLASTICS Chief Economist Perc Pineda expanded on the skills gap challenge.

I think the U.S. manufacturing sector is at crossroads,” Pineda explained, noting that companies PLASTICS speaks with say they cannot “find enough people to work—people who are actually qualified—not just for mundane jobs, but people who have skills.”

Click here to read Tony Deligio’s article published on the Plastics Technology website.  

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