Ya know there's not just a shortage off skilled trades such as welders.
I know an Elecrtical Engineering discipline that suffers shortages.
Engineers with a background in RF Design - the colleges and universities have screwed up as well - produced tons of Computer Engineers.
When I worked at Westinghouse/Grumman Northrup all the RF designers were older men, all the young engineers coming in were straight Computer or Electrical Engineers. Some of the brighter EE's were fixed up with an older RF guy and sorta got on-the-job-training.
That's a different situation, though related by school decisions.
Someone mentioned they had " shop class ", my kids also have " shop class ", but the shop classrooms are pathetic compared to when I was in high school. Woodshop class was a fully functional cabient shop. Metal working class was a fully functional machine shop. Print Shop was a fully functional, even took on outside work to earn money for us kids to have parties.
I do not live in that school district anymore, thank god. Now where I live we have a state-of-the-art Vocational Tech High School ... it's mission is to turn out Carpenters, Auto Mechanics, Machinists, Welders, Plumbers, Cooks, Veterinary Techs, Nurses Aides and the like. If the student do not keep up thier 3 R grades,( Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic ), grades they can be flunked out of this school and put into a standard High School.
Kids in this county know all to well what a Diploma from this school means -- Instant Employment the day after graduattion -- in fact most Seniors go to school part time and work on the job in thier field the rest of the time.
Here is a link to the Techncal Programs this High School offers.
It's one heck of a school - may not be THE BEST there is out there, but it's the best this old man has seen.
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Thread: too few welders?
01-04-2007, 08:38 PM #11Senior Member
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01-04-2007, 09:13 PM #12
I agree with all of the above, Not to offend anyone but I think alot of trouble is parents. most kids are stuck in a daycare or school most of the day
see their parents on the ride home if their lucky, then spend the night in front of tv or video game. The schools are no help either now days from the time kids start school they want to prepare them for college. There is nothing wrong with college. But kids need to have some idea what they want to do. If every one went to college everyone would be wanting a desk not a welder,
I have been out of school for several years some of my friends went to college and most of them dont even have jobs, some still live with parents.
Maybe some of us are just born with the will and determination or a gift.
When I was a kid I was lucky I guess my grand dad had a repair shop and my dad could fix or build anything, and I knew early in life I wanted to be just like that,We had an old stick welder that I taught myself to weld on when I was about 12 or 13 and thats what I have been doing since, But I dont know as much as I could have, or as much as some of you guys here, but I have never had any welding school or college but I have picked up alot of pointers along the way which is more valuable to me than any school. No teacher can tell you more than somebody who has welded daily for 40 years.
01-04-2007, 09:13 PM #13
I think most(80%) of the blame is on the employer..
everybody on this site knows how hard it is to become a journeymen I will never forget.
01-04-2007, 09:20 PM #14
Well, haven't we started a fire storm here? The truth is, if we are going to have any change for the good of all trades in general, it's going to have to start from our own ranks. As the previous entries have so blatantly pointed out, we no longer have the luxury of talented individuals coming to us. Instead, we are going to have to take a more active approach in recruiting and training if we are to see anything left. Triggerman, you are right on target about the average person not "getting it" when it comes to quality work/materials. My dad once made a comment to me that has been a driving force in my life ever since. It was a simple one line that basically stated "you do a job for the sake of the job first, then you work for the pay". I know that so goes against the mindset of anyone but a true craftsman, but it is the way it should be. I constantly get grief from all different angles because I do so much of my own work. If I had a penny every time I heard "couldn't you just buy it cheaper". In answer to that, no, I can't. I could pay a lot less for something that resembled what I wanted, but not what I would build. Case in point: As it is pretty obvious, I'm a huge fan of Caterpillar (disclaimer-I have no ties with them other than being a very satisfied customer). While they are not a perfect company and have to make decisions in reality about products and marketability, I think they do a heck of a job at what they do. When I went to purchase my first piece of yellow iron, I shopped around all the major makes and models before proceeding. While I did weigh price in the equation, it was not the overwhelming factor. I couldn't tell you how many people have asked me why I spent the extra money instead of going with any one of a dozen other lines. Here's my answer to that. Purchase price is only a small part of the cost of ownership. $1K in better parts could be worth $2K in service down the line. Also, the fact that as a mechanic I took one look at the serviceability of their design and nobody else even came close to it. When you look at a company like that and see what goes into the R&D and realize that they build a machine to be best at what it is, it gives you a real sense of satisfaction. I would personally challenge anyone to put a comparable machine side by side and the differences will be blatantly obvious. If we could only get the big three to build vehicles that way......
Now that we have throughly determined we are on a down hill course, let's turn the microscope on ourselves. If we are to take an active course of recruitment, what are some of those avenues? When was the last time we did take a kid in off the street and at least give them the opportunity to learn a way of life? The fact that skilled people are getting less has been proven, but I think we are missing the fact that there are people out there that have the innate skills, they just don't have a way to polish them. Case in point: a young man that goes to our church is a college senior. He grew up in small neighborhood and his parents had office employment. Naturally, he was not openly involved with mechanics. Over the years, he has spent countless hours at my shop and shops of other close friends. It was only a matter of time before he was ankle deep in grease and having a great time. This is just a case of seeing a spark in someone and fostering that into a lifestyle.
I would sincerely hope that there are people reading this website and others like it that pick up ideas and apply them. I know from personal experience, it can be very hard to break into a new field. Part of this has to do with those that are already in such field. Keep in mind, I'm just as guilty of this as the next guy. How many times do we brush people off or get just plain rude with them because we don't want to show them something elementary. Keep in mind that none of us were born with a welding helmet, box wrench, table saw.....
There's not a one among us that can stop a tidal wave, but we can all make our own little ripple and all those together can begin to have an impact. Don't try to change the world, just your world. Look for products that put design a priority over marketing. Once you start looking for them, they do start to pop out. A good way to find them is to look for the absence of hype and packaging to begin with. The best little restaurant in my area is the most bland place in the world when comparing atmosphere and packaging, but you'll never beat the food, that's for sure. Usually the best guy in the phone book has the smallest ad or none at all, simply because they don't need it. They have all the work they want.
The bad part about all of this is the fact that if you are here and reading this, then you are the ones that already understand most of these concepts. I wish I had all the answers, but sadly I don't.
01-04-2007, 10:24 PM #15
Don't fret, Steve. No one has all the answers, nor will anyone ever have them. That is the way of things.
I have taught my share of newbies. I still would if any would care to give it a try. No takers in a looooong time. No one wants to start at the bottom anymore and work their way up...they all want to start at the top office with an expense account, company credit card and car. When they can't get it, they stay at home sponging off mom and dad as long as they can. There are exceptions out there. They are just getting hard to find. Matter of fact, I haven't had a new helper in maybe 6 years or more. Sad.....I'm getting older by the day.Don
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01-05-2007, 03:39 AM #16Member
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- Dec 2006
- collinsville, ok
i agree with everyone, it is the schools, parents, society in general, they are all contributing to the problem we are facing.
i still believe that we can turn this arround. use technology in our favor and promote trades in a manner that would be attractive to kids. vidio games where you build stuff instead of blow stuff up, television shows that shows how rewarding and fun building things can be. my son is 5 yrs old and loves my shop and watching bob the builder. if he gets a toy truck without a hitch on it he wants to put one on. kids are naturally problem solvers not desk jockeys.
we have to make the solution. society won't do it for us.
01-05-2007, 07:37 AM #17
The problem does starts with the people that can make a difference.
Like DDA said he hasn't had a Helper/Apprentice in 6 years I'm trying to get one of our people to go to school and management say's no well if ron and I die tomorrow alteck will have bigger things to think about. In my personel business I asked the wife's son if he would like to get a welding or fabrication ticket he's just not interested.So I asked the wife's sister's son nope.
Now I can't say what the problem is It could be; Me,The trade it self,atitude,self -esteam,what the friends say,lazy,the dirt,the parents,the cold,the thought of having to maybe move away,peer pressure,have I covered most of this yet. When I read the paper no one wants a first year appren;why is that?you have to start some where I did typicaly at the BOTTOM. I agree with what someone said on here We should all start at the top and work our way down. maybe people should consider this move hire a helper give that person a managers position and re -asses in 3 months then they can see that you must earn that right to be in that position.(I had a job come in to my shop I hired a man 23 I asked him to put some plate on the table so we can do our lay out well I put the plate on the table layed the piece out cut the patteren fit it tacked it this guy just didn't seem interested to me).So I dont know.
01-05-2007, 10:59 PM #18
less than 2 cents
SSS, you couldn't have said it better...that being said, I'm skeptical when someone says there's a welder shortage even though there aren't enough quality people like y'all. I read that article on the AWS website but there's always another angle. I hear the same thing in aviation but there always seems to be enough mechanics to go around. You just have to do what you enjoy and do it well. heck if is wasn't for the ladies we would be happy with beer money and a place to live.Matt Adams A&P, IA
01-17-2007, 08:44 PM #19Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Finnally meat and potatoes
I'd like to add to all of it thats its not just the lack of voc,tranning but in alot of cases the quality of that trainning also. So many schools view students as just tuition money.And really dont put their best foot foward to throughly educate the students in the trade.
School is susposed to teach the basics then move the student up the ladder towards the advanced.. And nowadays ''the basics'' just cant compete out in the real world. I mean they are making machines easier to use not just because of the available technology....but also (and mainly I BELIVE) TO COMPENSATE for lack of welder skill.
Lack of skill is what makes our trade least respected wich is another reason the welding world is in a sad state of afairs.
Think about it were the only trade that can run around doing what we do without a lic, for the most part.
WE have got to find a way to save it before tis too late
01-17-2007, 10:03 PM #20
i agree with you guys there is a shortage of workers but its mainly the way 16 to 24 year olds were brought up they are lazy and have no work ethic. mommy and daddy gave them it all. they dont want to work for there money or start at the bottom. i dont know thats just what i see and im in that age group but my dad would have kicked my a## if i even tried being that way
Just my 2 cents.....