The season of gift giving and receiving is fast coming upon us, and rather than getting caught up in the "it" toy or game of the moment, we as manufacturing and industrial professionals have an opportunity to make a real impact on the young people in our lives with the presents we choose. How? It starts with the "skills gap" we keep hearing so much about - manufacturers unable to find the skilled workers they need for open positions.
The "skills gap" is probably more of a "communication gap" - millennials and other young workers typically look for certain things from their careers, and manufacturing actually provides many of them: working with smaller companies and teams to make tangible contributions; working for a greater good or to benefit others; and working in a tech-friendly environment, to name a few.
So rather than facing the problem of an industry that young people don't want to work in, the problem is that young people don't realize how innovative, team oriented, and technologically forward-looking manufacturing can be. That's where the impact of manufacturing-themed gifts comes in. Products like Goldie Blox, Snap Circuits, K'Nex, and Legos, can instill the excitement of the new reality of manufacturing from a young age, and help the industry shore up our future. Make sure to add them to your list.