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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    collinsville, ok
    Posts
    86

    Default too few welders?

    hey y'all,
    i also visit the a.w.s. website and there is a hot topic about "where have the welders gone". there are many factors as to why there is a shortage of experienced welders. and it is important to know why the problem is, in order to fix the problem but, i would like to hear from you guys on this and ideas on how to fix this verry serious problem.


    according to the hobart institute, 62% of the students surveyed said they would feel unsuccessful if they were employed in manufacturing. the students also consider manufacturing "dirty, boring, and smelly".
    the u.s. dept of labor estimates that by the year 2028 there will be 200,000,000 jobs in america and only 180,000,000 skilled workers.
    american welding society says that the average age of skilled welders is in their mid 50's, meaning that in the next 10 to 15 years over half will retire.

    what do you all think and how can we fix this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Tsalagi,

    Here's my $.02 on the overall subject:

    I come from the so called generation X (which I detest that label) and can first hand tell you that a lot of folks my age were never brought up with much of a work ethic taught to them. While I wasn't raised on a farm, my dad was and he owns his own carpentry business. Growing up I didn't get sent off to some day care, instead I was on construction sites by 5. Guess what....it didn't warp my psychological development in any way, and by jr high, I could pretty much tell you how a building was constructed.

    One of my frustrations about our current educational system is the fact that you have one of two options. You can either take the college prep route, or you can "settle" for the vocational one. From the beginning we are pounding it into our kids that if you don't get a college degree, work in an office, and take two hour "client" lunches, then you are less than you could be. Before I go too far, let me say I have nothing against higher education....I have one degree and am working on another. But.....I drove a truck to support myself during my college years and to be honest, had a more valuable education about life working a clutch and floatn' gears.

    To really boil it down, here's my take...America isn't hungry anymore. There's no motivation to get out and make something of yourself. Everybody wants to get a $60K job right out of school with 4wks of vacation, retirement program and a company car. We've gotten addicted to outsourcing every last aspect of life that we can just to make an extra buck or to not get dirty. Think of it this way, two generations ago people would salvage shipping crates in order to get lumber to build a house and be ecstatic about the fact that they even had a house. Now, customers throw a temper tantrum if there is the slightest scratch on their $5K granite counter tops. Where does it end??

    My business partner and I own a general contracting company and fight this battle every day. Over all, the true one man crew of craftsmen is a dieing breed. Everybody wants it pre-packaged and built in China.

    I guess it comes to down to the fact that it (along with several other things, but I digress) is more of a social thing that has to be addressed in the early years of a generation.

    On the flip side, there are a lot of people out there that justify the stereotype of the uneducated, red-neck, can't-get-a-better-job, construction worker that spends more on alcohol than rent. We need to start by getting that image out of the public's eye and show why a truly skilled work force is the back bone of a society. Without it, it's like building a beautiful home on sand without a good footing piered down to rock. It'll be pretty, but only for a brief time until it crumbles.

    I've posted this link before, but I'll put it in here because I think it is a fitting commentary.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...e/1302841.html

    Well, there's my editorial. SSS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tsalagi View Post
    ...
    according to the hobart institute, 62% of the students surveyed said they would feel unsuccessful if they were employed in manufacturing. the students also consider manufacturing "dirty, boring, and smelly".
    ...
    You nailed the major contributor to the problem - attitude - and there's no way I'm going to try to improve on SkidSteerSteve's excellent "editorial".

    How can the problem be fixed? A simple solution with a horribly difficult implementation - change a prevailing, unspoken attitude that "blue collar" is somehow inferior to "white collar"; that there's something almost disrespectful about callused and work-hardened hands but health club memberships and trips to the gym to work off "swivel chair spread" are socially acceptable; that the trades and crafts are somehow less valuable than the "professions".

    I have no suggestions on how that public attitude change can be accomplished. However, I have concluded, rightly or wrongly, that the biggest influence on public opinion and attitude in today's environment are the propaganda machines of the large news media.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    642

    Default

    Here is something else contributing to the problem ....

    Vocational/Technical classes are all but non-existent in today's High School curriculums.

    By the time I was in the 11th Grade I could set type by hand from a California Job Case ( Print Shop ), Turn a Baseball bat on a lathe ( Woodshop ), Build, troubleshoot and repiar various electronic circuitry ( Electronics Shop ).

    These course were a year long, all 4 quarters in the selected shop class.

    The only shop class I did not take was Automotive. I took this one after 12th grade during the summer at a Vo-Tech High School.

    Todays high school student is lucky to get 1/2 of year in a so called Shop Class. if and when the do build something, they end up assembling a PURCHASED KIT.

    Whenever you see or hear the ads about " Are your kids getting enough ART and MUSIC " in school, remember they are missing SHOP CLASS as well.

    I graduated from High School in 1974. In the mid-80's I went back to my High School with a 26 foot long box truck full of Electronics gear donated by a defense contractor I worked with to be used in that schools Electronics class. It was refused by the high school as electronics was not taught in the way it was when I was there.

    Children are no longer being exposed to the types of classes that generate an interest in the trades like they used to. I fell fortunate now that I was able to take the shop classes I did, the knowledge I gained there led me to where I am today.

    Here is a some tests I'd like to give to high school seniors graduating today.

    1) Hand them a California Job Case and ask them to identify it, or substitute a section of linotype and see if they know what it is.

    2) Hand them a non-working car stereo ( blown fuse ) and ask them to diagnose it.

    3) Hand them a Skew Chisel , Parting Chisel, and Bowl Gouge Chisel and aske them to identify each one.

    4) Take them into a garage and ask them to show you the Front End Alignment machine.

    Do kids need to know all of this? I don't know, but would it hurt if they did know?

    Public Shools SUCK today for what is NOT taught to children. All they frigging care about is teaching the kids to pass some assesment test so the school can qualify for more Federal money.

    FIX THE SCHOOLS - FIX THE PROBLEM

    <whew - I need a smoke and a beer> I don't smoke or drink!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Bulverde, Tx
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Yup, I agree with all of the above.

    My two cents would be add to the fact that the only discipline that exists seems to be in the military. There sure isn't any existing anywhere else. I would have been spitting chicklets had I talked to my parents the way I hear kids doing it today. I suppose it would have saved me several trips to the dentist lately, but that is not the point. That and the horrible appearance issues that seem to have evolved these days, and in reality, most kids coming out of high school are not really employable in this sector of business. They have more holes in their head than is normal and all the chains and rings that go with them.....Let them work with spinning machinery????? I don't think so. Tell them there is a dress code and it must be followed and they bolt. No one wants to follow any rules anymore. Welding is full of rules to be followed. No way around that. It also is hard and hot work. No one wants to work hard anymore.

    I agree that the schools need a good swift kick..as do the teachers. But give the parents a kick as well. Some of this stuff that is lacking is not taught at school...it is from home and family. But when kids are considered a nusciance and shuttled off here and there, how are they supposed to be taught anything? It won't come from TV either. Just the opposite actually.

    I say, let the trend continue. Let it get so bad, they are begging us to do their work. When we start making six figure salaries because there isn't anyone to work...then maybe getting dirty and having satisfaction in a job well done will become fashionable once again. ......then I woke up.
    Don


    '06 Trailblazer 302
    '06 12RC feeder
    Super S-32P feeder

    HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
    Esab Multimaster 260
    Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I do see all points of view. Especially with "kids these days" seeing how I'm in school with them. Yes most have a bad attitude and would rather do drugs and party, but not all. And I wish just as bad as everyone that this could be changed.

    My school does offer shop classes, and I must say it is a great class. Even though we dont have a big shop, as many classes, or evev all the fancy tools, it gives kids like me and my friends a chance to learn, and get ready for a job, apprenticeship, or whatever is in the near future.

    In defense for my school district (it may be other places too), they just approved a plan to get help with getting future skilled workers more knowledge. My understanding of this would consist of students going to a different school, where there are the teachers for whatever trade or skill, and the students staying there for hours on end every day learning about what they need to know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Startford, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Posts
    304

    Default

    I dont think sterio types are true about any subject. Welding is yes a dirty job and yes it may smell but if we didnt have skilled workers in this trade or any other for that matter where would we be? I dotn think or economy would be any where. I think we really need to stress it out and we need to get everybody in the education take part in it and atleast try a hands on course of any sort. We already have that but I mean we should make it a compusery (sp). I dont think we stress it enough to my age group 14-22 (if im not mistaken) how importent our trades people are. I really do think having docters is really worth something but where are they going to do there practice without people building that facility.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default

    When I was in high school everyclass I took was designed for kids to learn field either automotive engineering etc. I chose engineering. In our tech class we had to build a bridge out of toothpicks mine held 106lb we also had to make those wooden CO2 cars but they had to have a wing on the back that gave 10% lift had to weigh a certain amount could only be so wide and high etc... it was not easy.

    I didn't stay at that school for long because I moved but that was the best year I never got a chance to enjoy school after that no program in any of the 3 schools I went to after that had good classes. one had only a automotive class the other had shop classes but were full so I got stuck in cooking lol

    I think to fix this they need to start people off in trades while in highschool maybe even give them credit towords their certs/tickets or just get a head start ont he aprentership

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default Interesting question.

    First, let me say I agree with everything that has been written thus far. To that I would like to add the following:

    I began writing a book about two years ago. After working on it for about a year, I decided to abandon the project because it had grown so large the subject matter could not be adequately covered in a shelf full of books. The working sub-title was "The systematic assault on and destruction of the american middle class". In the modern global econosphere our middle class is disappearing for a thousand different reasons. What makes this a shame beyond comprehension is the middle class has been the backbone of America since before we were a sovereign nation. The middle class has always been where we grew (not just educated or trained, but GREW) our blacksmiths, carpenters, telegraph operators, mechanics, electricians, welders, steel mill workers, auto workers, machinists, teachers, farmers, forklift operators, soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen. Believe it, or not, this change is only new here in the gold ole USA. We are at least 20 years behind the rest of the world. IMHO, we have only lasted as long as we have because of the massive economic strength we held and force of skilled labor in the global marketplace. The events of the the greatest impact (federalization of the public school system, favored trade status for China, the pervasive growth of computers in the design and manufacture of goods, etc.) were each just a single nail in the lid of a VERY LARGE coffin.

    The single overriding fact of the matter is there is NO single thread in the fabric of our society that has not been degraded. None, zip, zero, nada. If I were king for a day, there would be a new department created. The Unites States Department of Misnomers. I would specifically point out things like the Department of Education, where schools get there funding not by what they taught, but by HOW MANY they taught; the Department of Justice, because the practitioners of law don't give a **** about justice, the United States Congress (congress is supposed to mean coming together with a common goal, enough said), ad nauseum. The fabric of our industry and our entire society is unravelling before our very eyes.

    Take a look at some of the nice welder carts, welding tables, gizmos and gadgets that are shown here on this site. The average person is incapable of comprehending the conceptual creativity, planning and attention to detail you guys have put into the fabulous work we see here every day. Nobody is surprised the average person doesn't get it. Here's the rub: the average employer doesn't get it either. Try telling your boss or your customer how many man hours and dollars of materials are TRULY going into the project they want done. Doing the job right, with the right materials, the right planning and the right labor takes a back seat to satisfying the almighty bottom line. That's why I can't order an evaporator coil from any manufacturer anywhere that will stand up to the environments where I install them. It is why vessels we install today can't possibly withstand pressure like the ones I put in twenty years ago.

    All of this combined with what I call the microwave mindset is pulling us down. The microwave mindset explains why there always seems to be a second or two left on the microwave timer. People today are in such a hurry for their gratification they cannot wait that last second or two for their burrito. How many of the e-mails you get are actually written. Not computer generated garbage or forwards, but messages someone actually sat down and wrote out? Microwave mindset.

    The worst news of all is this: IMHO, this trend is irreversible. Sorry to be the bearer of ill tidings.

    Have a nice day. (sorry for the extensive droning)
    Triggerman

    Ammonia refrigeration tech
    Trailblazer 302 (yes, it's new)
    Millermatic 180 w/Autoset
    CST-250
    HF-15 High frequency
    XR15 w/Push-Pull Gun
    Victor O/A, DeWalt, North mask


    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Bulverde, Tx
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    I don't believe we are dealing with stereotypes here either. yes, it is easy to call it that because in this day it is not permissible to call anything by its correct name. I believe it is a trend that is slowly to quickly becoming the norm sadly. My wife made a great point about why the schools are so bad today....and the reason is the parents. If they weren't so sue happy about every little thing, then the school districts might just be able to mold young minds correctly, not the way they do now. So what if the kids are made to wear uniforms....so what if they are given tons of homework.....so what if they are made to take physical education and actually have to pass tests...and if they get out of line, a small whack across the butt won't kill them, but it might make them think twice about doing that again. I have noticed time and again, that the well adjusted ones were disciplined in some fashion. If the schools were run today, the way they were run 25-30 years ago, the school districts would be shut down and the higher ups would all be in prison. If it was so bad back then, why did most of us turn out just fine?? Loose the politically correct crap and maybe something will actually get done.

    Riiiiight.......Like that will actually happen.

    I know there are exceptions to every rule. I also know there are some young'uns out there that do have some good work ethics and some gumption about them. Sadly, they are in an ever shrinking minority. My kids will not have the popular work ethic.They will be taught the value of a good days work. They will be polite and respectful to their elders.....whether those elders deserve it or not. They will wear their pants in the full upright and belted position. They will not be glued to the TV or video games. Outside will be a playground, and will not be avoided at all costs.( Fresh air is not fatal!) Will they be freaks of nature? Nope...but they will be different. Since when is that a bad thing?

    Beam me up Scotty.....very little intelligent life left down here.
    Don


    '06 Trailblazer 302
    '06 12RC feeder
    Super S-32P feeder

    HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
    Esab Multimaster 260
    Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

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