7000 Manufacturing Jobs On The Horizon in Iowa

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GRINNELL, Iowa- The manufacturing industry in the state of Iowa is facing a shortage of skilled workers in the next three years, totaling about 7,000 jobs. That's according to Alan Anselman,  who is the Plant Manager at Lennox in Marshalltown. He spoke at a high school career fair in Grinnell with the message there are jobs out there for young people.

Anselman said that companies like Lennox need skilled people to produce heating and cooling for residential.  He said that the company is facing approaching retirement of some workers, and the demand for manufacturing is increasing.

"Iowa factories have added 6900 jobs since 2010, that's a gain of 3.4 per cent," said Anselman

Anselman is a Board Member for Elevate Iowa,  a non-profit organization which has a mission of telling young Iowans about opportunites in Iowa. It is funded by Iowa Community Colleges, and Iowa manufacturing companies. Elevate Iowa helped to sponsor an organize a job fair at the Spaudling Center for Transportation in Grinnell.

"These are great jobs, they pay great wages, there's a great future here," said Robyn Denson of Elevate Iowa.

"Math is critical to manufacturing the ability to read blueprints check dimensions
is all dependant on the ability to do math, fractions decimals, etc," said Anselman.  There is another very important skill students need to develop, that is communication.
"Soft skills like communication and team work are just as important as math in today's manufacturing world," said Anselman. "Many problems are corrected through formal problem-solving techniques with a team."

Anselman said some students may already be building team skills, and not be aware of it. "If you're an athlete and you've had to beat your personal best you know what I'm talking about," said Anselman. "If you're a gamer and you've had to rethink to reach a new level  you know what I'm talking about, in most cases the more challenging a task is, the more rewarding it is."

Anselman also warned students of a big pitfall,"the number one reason why we terminate employees, is attendance, or lack there of."

Temporary employees at Lennox start at $10 an hour, but for many workers the pay can be around $20 an hour with benefits.  Lennox workers are represented by the United Auto Workers Union.

"I really like science...math..I'll admit it's not my favorite class but I also like the welding classes," said Jacob Staroska, who is a Junior.

I love math...engineering is something I've been looking at since I was little.. I think I want to go into a crareer with that.

 

hool career fair in Grinnell with the message there are jobs out there for young people.

Anselman said that companies like Lennox need skilled people to produce heating and cooling for residential.  He said that the company is facing approaching retirement of some workers, and the demand for manufacturing is increasing.

"Iowa factories have added 6900 jobs since 2010, that's a gain of 3.4 per cent," said Anselman

Anselman is a Board Member for Elevate Iowa,  a non-profit organization which has a mission of telling young Iowans about opportunities in Iowa. Elevate Iowa helped to sponsor an organize a job fair at the Spaudling Center for Transportation in Grinnell.

"These are great jobs, they pay great wages, there's a great future here," said Robyn Denson of Elevate Iowa.

"Math is critical to manufacturing the ability to read blueprints check dimensions
is all dependant on the ability to do math, fractions decimals, etc," said Anselman.  There is another very important skill students need to develop, that is communication.
"Soft skills like communication and team work are just as important as math in today's manufacturing world," said Anselman. "Many problems are corrected through formal problem-solving techniques with a team."

Anselman said some students may already be building team skills, and not be aware of it. "If you're an athlete and you've had to beat your personal best you know what I'm talking about," said Anselman. "If you're a gamer and you've had to rethink to reach a new level  you know what I'm talking about, in most cases the more challenging a task is, the more rewarding it is."

Anselman also warned students of a big pitfall,"the number one reason why we terminate employees, is attendance, or lack there of."

Temporary employees at Lennox start at $10 an hour, but for many workers the pay can be around $20 an hour with benefits.  Lennox workers are represented by the United Auto Workers Union.

"I really like science...math..I'll admit it's not my favorite class but I also like the welding classes," said Jacob Staroska, who is a Junior.

"I love math,engineering is something I've been looking at since I was little, said Sloan Volkman, who is a freshman in high school.  He is looking for a career which involves math and some engineering.

 

4 comments

  • Rebecca Hergert

    My husband says, ‘either you train them on the job, like they use to or send them for free college’
    Everyone of my sibling’s were train on the job at their factory job in Cedar Rapids!!

    • John Smith

      I fear that those days are in the past, now. It appears we all need to be having discussions about the roles of the overall society and the subset of businesses in providing education.

      And, while I personally don’t think it is the responsibility of society to train workers for specific jobs without compensation from the businesses society is thus subsidizing, I am certainly all for seeing that American’s receive as much education as possible. Just recently in the SOTU address, the President is, I believe, recognizing that Americans can be better-prepared for the global economy by adding a couple more years of education. I think that is a good observation on his part. I don’t particularly have thoughts about how to go about it. One way would be to add a couple more years to High School, it seems to me. Another would be what the President proposes.

      In each case, it seems to me, businesses would benefit. So, if they don’t want to pay for the OJT they used to, I would think they could be convinced to contribute to the solution beyond just providing jobs.

  • ervserver

    if a business can’t lure workers it could be the $10/hour starting wage. There are plenty of manufacturing jobs starting at $12+

  • bjertbjaeger

    See, they want the workers, but they don’t want to train the workers, so they got in bed with the community colleges, a bureaucratic nightmare itself, and they stroked each other, now if you want to be a welder, they want you to take classes that will provide no benefit to a welding career and just provide jobs for academics who would otherwise be working at Burger King. So now I’m going to spend $10K or more for a $10 an hour job that may or may not be around for more than 5 years.

    Rockwell was whining how they couldn’t find skilled employees, and then laid off 150 workers rather than retrain them for skills they needed.

    Corprate America is taking the middle class for a ride, and their getting very good at making sure they maintain enough people who foolishly believe they’ll get paid in spades if they just kiss enough butt that they can continue to run their scams.

    New study out, noting the depressed economic growth in areas that cater to corporations by giving them millions in welfare.

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