Reports Analyzing ‘Additive Manufacturing Skills Gap’ Emerging in U.S. Workforce | #ManufacturingMonday
Article from DesignNews looks at ‘3 reasons‘ why additive manufacturing in particular is lagging behind other fields in the U.S. workforce – or rather why the gap of those skills is widening compared to other fields.
Five years ago, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published a report that addressed skilled worker shortages in U.S. manufacturing. The report noted that American companies were not doing enough to cultivate a new generation of skilled manufacturing workers and that they’ve actually scaled back their in-house training over the years. Another BCG study conducted last year found that the problem is particularly acute for additive manufacturing (AM), where the skills gap is growing and not shrinking. The newer study revealed that only 34 percent of U.S. manufacturing executives have implemented additive manufacturing initiatives in their companies.
The skills gap may not be the only reason companies are lagging. AM does, after all, require significant capital investment. Still, it’s a real problem. Evolving AM techniques are increasing the demand for an industrial workforce that is capable of applying 3D printing to real-world production, according to an article published last year in Additive Manufacturing.
Three major factors are contributing to the ever-widening skills gap for AM in North America:
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.