By Jacqueline Belrose
Do you like to make things? Are you good at hands-on work, problem-solving and working with computers?
Modern manufacturing is a desirable and potentially lucrative career pathway for people who enjoy participating in the successful fabrication and delivery of a product, or supporting areas like finance, facilities, human resources and management.
1. Use career exploration tools.
Sites like O-Net have detailed descriptions of opportunities in manufacturing. The website for “AMP it up!” offers manufacturing videos and resources to help you explore the industry.
Jacqueline Belrose, the author of this column, is a former vice president of lifelong learning and workforce development at Mount Wachusett Community College.
2. Explore manufacturing job listings.
You can do this through search engines like monster.com and indeed.com, as well as LinkedIn where you can look for groups of interest.
3. Contact your local community college.
A look at the website for Mount Wachusett Community College (www.mwcc.edu/manufacturing) provides information about training, employment opportunities and labor statistics.
4. Obtain national, industry-recognized credentials.
The Manufacturing Institute has a broad list of certifications spanning many manufacturing fields, and employers are increasingly valuing specific competencies.
5. Leverage your network.
Use social media such as Linkedin or Facebook to reach out to a manufacturer. Ask what position the person holds, about the day-to-day job details, opportunities for additional training and advancement, and work conditions. You can also do this kind of networking offline, such as touring a local facility or meeting with a human resources department.
6. Find a manufacturing club or organization.
These can include a robotics club, an entrepreneurial center, a makerspace organization, trade associations, and Do It Yourself groups.
7. Attend workshops and events in celebration of Manufacturing Day, held in the first week of October.
Started by the National Association of Manufacturing, this day features equipment demonstrations at schools and tours at manufacturing companies.
8. Participate in work-based learning.
An internship, apprenticeship or another type of on-the-job training opportunity is an invaluable way for you to explore your suitability in a particular career, and to demonstrate your value to a potential employer.
9. Visit your local career center.
Career center services are available to everyone – not just the unemployed. They work with other organizations to provide training opportunities and have resources for those interested in manufacturing. Career centers work directly with companies with job openings to fill and provide assistance to job seekers in resume writing, interviewing and similar skills. ◾