The Welding Skills Gap

Along with many positive reports about US manufacturing there has also been a lot of news about the skills gap and the important role in plays in keeping the US competitive. The skills gap is due to many factors, including an aging workforce and increased manufacturing activity among others. At S&B Metal we have seen firsthand the problems manufacturers are having with finding qualified employees.  Although we have worked with temp agencies, attended job fairs, and put out job applications in local papers we have found that often the best way to narrow the skills gap is to provide the training ourselves.

We work with a vocational school and supply welding materials for the students as well as make recommendations to the curriculum to gear it towards specific skills as well as give guidelines if for example we see they’re not teaching TIG welding. We also conduct a lot of in-house training to help bring younger workers up to speed. We also offer cross-training and have taught our welders how to be a laser operator. This allows us to move our employees around the shop freely.

Additionally, one possibility we have been discussing is to create our own S&B Academy, which will help us train people to fill the welding gap.

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