Preliminary results of the recent MAMTC/Kansas Department of Commerce survey reveal not surprisingly that the biggest challenge facing Kansas manufacturers is finding and keeping qualified employees. With all the programs available now to help address this challenge, I’m wondering if there is one source that may be somewhat underutilized. Major League baseball teams use scouts and a farm system, why don’t we?
For the past few years, MAMTC has been working more closely with a number of partners across the state who see potential manufacturing employees every day. I’m speaking, of course, about the numerous community colleges and technical training centers we have throughout the state.
The other day, I was speaking with our contact at Coffeyville Community College. I know manufacturers frequently employ folks that have received training from community colleges, but something I learned from her about their approach at Coffeyville, I believe is worth replicating elsewhere.
Manufacturers who are served by CCC are asked to participate in many more ways than just as board advisors. They are invited and encouraged to visit classes and to visit with scouts – teachers – who know very well the students they teach. They even conduct mock interviews with students – interviews which often go well beyond “mock.”
One of the “scouts” who teaches a class in auto collision repair at CCC “discovered” talented students who excelled in various paint applications. Companies like Cessna, Cobalt Boats and others happily took those “AAA” graduates to the “Majors” thanks again to keeping in touch with the “scouts” at Coffeyville Community College.
Instructors at our numerous Community Colleges and Technical Training Centers across Kansas would love to be your eyes and ears for spotting talented future employees. Why not consider increasing your use of this existing and perhaps underutilized “farm” system for your organization?
I'd love to discuss this further with you, give me a call.