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Feature Project: Manufacturers Paying a Bounty for Skilled Workers


It is no surprise for Acero Precision to hear that there is a high demand for skilled manufacturing workers in the United States.  What did recently cause us to raise an eyebrow was when we heard Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation in Florence, Ky., on the 6 o’clock evening national news.  You see Brian Papke was frustrated.  Like many of us in the industry, he has struggled to hire skilled workers, specifically welders.  In fact, Mazak has 20 openings for welders needed to help build precision metal cutting machines that will be sold to large manufacturers around the world.  Like the old saying goes, Papke was mad as heck and he was not going to take it anymore.

After months of being unable to find applicants with the welding skills needed, Mazak instituted what they called a ‘bounty’ of $2,500 to the new any welders they hired. “We have to move quickly,” said Papke. “Offering bounties was one of the fastest ways we could go to attract people into our welding programs.”

As strange as it may sound, the inability to find qualified workers is a widespread issue affecting US manufacturers.  With the number of manufacturing job openings in American doubling over the past two years, today’s top talent comes at top dollar.  According to the Bureau of Lab or Statistics, there were 264,000 job openings in the manufacturing sector at the end of last year, compared with approximately 100,000 two years ago.  Manufacturers, like Mazak and Acero Precision, have to be resourceful and competitive when it comes to attracting new talent (Acero Precision offers new CNC Programmers sign-on bonuses and provides its employees with substantial referral bonuses to bolster new recruits).  Not only that, they have to be proactive in educating the future workforce of the benefits of a career in the new age of manufacturing.

Keep in mind, these are not the manufacturing jobs of yesterday.  American manufacturing has become more complex over the years, requiring a higher degree of talent.  Finally, American factories have the ability to do more sophisticated manufacturing with a well paid, skilled work force.  Many CEOs, including Acero’s own Michael Fitzgerald, have gone on record to encourage everyone from the education sector to government to reconsider what investing in the manufacturing boom could do for the future of America.

If you know someone that could benefit from a career in manufacturing, please email our Recruiting team for a complimentary information packet on industry opportunities, necessary qualifications for skills workers and a list of open positions at our Newtown Square, PA facilities.

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