Want a Skilled Workforce? Train It!

I thoroughly enjoyed this recent article in Industry Week on Crafting a Skilled Workforce that describes Blum Inc’s Apprenticeship 2000 program that develops many of the skilled manufacturing technicians that Blum may otherwise be unable to find. While the four-year program costs Blum $100,000 per apprentice on average, 80% of graduates, who are guaranteed a job with a minimum salary of $34,000 a year on graduation, stay with Blum. In otherwords, for ony $125,000, Blum obtains a highly capable manufacturing technician, with journeyman certification from the North Carolina Department of Labour, who will provide the company with years of valuable service. Given that recruitment of even an entry-level technologist can easily exceed $10K to $15K, and that training of a new recruit can take 6 months or more and tens of thousands of dollars of time of a senior mentor, and that there’s no guarantee that the technologist will have the skills, work out, or stay with the company any length of time, investing $125K to produce a highly skilled employee with company loyalty is a small, and brilliant investment.

As SI has said before, Apprenticeship is the Answer.