OT: skills shortage

What are these people smoking? There is a skills shortage the same way there is a gas shortage -- I just drove all over town
and couldn't find a station selling any for 29.9 cents/ gallon.
Time for more H1b visas ......
Uncle George
========================= Skills shortage plagues manufacturers
1 hour, 23 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 80 percent of U.S. manufacturers say they cannot find enough qualified workers to meet customer demands, according to an industry study released on Tuesday.
While some 3.4 million factory jobs have been lost since 1998, the National Association of Manufacturers said employers are now struggling to find enough high-skilled machinists, technicians and engineers to keep production lines humming.
Of more than 800 manufacturers surveyed, 13 percent reported a severe shortage of qualified workers, while 68 percent experienced a moderate shortage.
"The survey exposes a widening gap between the dwindling supply of skilled workers in America and the growing technical demands of the modern manufacturing workplace," NAM president John Engler said.
The report, released by NAM, the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting, found 83 percent of manufacturers were struggling to serve customers because there were not enough qualified workers. Some struggled to produce enough to meet customer demand, while others could not meet targets for productivity or customer service.
The exodus of baby boomers from the workforce, a negative stereotype of manufacturing and a drop in the number of U.S. students pursuing technical or engineering degrees are fueling the problem, Engler said.
Jeffrey Owens, president of Peoria, Illinois-based Advanced Technology Services, helps manufacturers fill the gap.
"It's a pretty significant problem," said Owens, whose 1,500 workers provide factory maintenance for heavy machinery maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT - news) and industrial and aerospace conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON - news), among others.
"A lot of people are retiring who are extremely talented, good people, and there's nobody coming in behind them ... The younger generation doesn't consider manufacturing a viable career alternative," Owens said.
NO CACHET
While the image of back-breaking labor in steel plants or on assembly lines may be what most Americans still think of when they imagine factory work, Owens said the modern workplace is often more about computers.
"You really use your brain a lot more than you use your back," he said. "There are some guys that can really work magic with the machinery to keep it running. Sometimes it's more of an art than a science."
While ATS has established a training program to lure students out of high school or technical schools and into a workplace where they can become multi-skilled technicians, experts say education in the nation as a whole is weak.
"Communication is needed between campuses and employers," said Cliff Waldman, a global economist at the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, a business research organization. "Companies have been remarkably innovative ... (but) the educational system has to work on instilling these skills."
NAM said its survey found significant dissatisfaction among manufacturers with the quality of kindergarten-to-grade 12 education and the dearth of adequate career counseling.
"We must update the image of modern manufacturing in the minds of young people, their parents and educators, and encourage more students to study math and science or follow a technical career path," Engler said.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Agreed-- These g-d news writers can make shit smell like perfume...
Plus, I don't know if they can even follow their own logic, seemingly intermingling factory work, skilled labor, and g-d 'pyooters. 27c gas.... I remember it well.... <sigh>
Bottom line, esp. in the bigger cities, I think what we are witnessing is capitalism-gone-effing-wild, or perhaps more betterer, capitalism-turned-cannibalism. What I think is being "engineered" is that working muhfugguhs will soon *never* be able to retire. So stay healthy, exercise regularly (yeah, and buy my Fitness Folly), eat yer veggies and take yer vitamins. Cuz yer gonna need'em, for dat 90 mile commute (to the factory?) when yer 90 years old.
Speaking of health, and perhaps jes slightly off-thread:
The real shortage of skilled workers is among medical doctors. Goodeffingawd.... Ahm off to see a bunch of these morons today, basically to fill out more forms. I mostly gotta fill'em out for them. And, of fukn course, I cain't jes drop sed forms off, I gotta make a **bill-able** appointment. These muhfugguhs won't even return phone calls--come in for a bill-able appt.
These people are near-utterly useless. It is in fact the lab techs and the equipment mfr's who are doing the "medicine". Doctors are essentially just high-priced conduits for the info.
Altho this is starting to change--fukn ER doctors (the only useful doctors anyway) are starting to be paid by piecework. goodgawd....
Can you say, "Fish-in-a-barrel", boyzngerlz? ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Major problem as I see it after being in education for 15 years and industry for 30 [with considerable overlap] is that if the candidate is smart enough to do what the corporations want and educated enough to do what what the corporations want, he is too smart and too educated to work for for the corporations. In short, he knows they are lying because he can see their lips moving.
Uncle George
On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 11:13:17 -0500, "Proctologically Violatedฉฎ"

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hey, those CEO's have to make their 30 million dollar bonus.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think there is a cycle in which power swings between corporations and labor, and the corporations have been on top for a long time, and that you will see an upswing in labor as a result. If I were a kid nowadays I'd join a good labor union apprenticeship program. Lots of skilled tradesmen make like $80k and live good lives without any fear their jobs will be exported.
GWE
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Grant Erwin wrote:

I used to hear something just like this when I was at Honeywell. The skilled tradesmen and unskilled workers who kept the facilities running would all tell me that they didn't give a crap whether the engineers in the research center (100% of the reason there was anybody in my building) were let go or stayed; they (the union members) would still have their jobs.
They wouldn't listen when I pointed out that if there were no productive people (the engineers) in the building, there would be no need for them to maintain the facility.
Grant's comment that people can live without any fear of their jobs being exported is valid right up until the point when few can afford to pay the skilled tradesmen their portion of the $80k.
Who's gonna call the plumber to unclog a sewer line or run new water if they don't have the cash to pay? Same with electrical except if there are really harsh penalties for homeowners doing their own work. The work's going to get done, but it'll be done differently than it is now.
Pete (in St. Paul)
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The Cities get a big cut in the penalties & set up the rules. But plumbers jobs won't go to China. Wonder want will happen when all the people that have been outsource 'ed can't pay, will we be in deep shit?
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was going to do some electrical work as part of a project and was told that I needed to take a test to get a "homeowner license", the test is the same as an electrician would take, less the three phase and commercial/industrial stuff. Pfft. Why bother? Cheaper to hire a guy who is willing to let you do most of the work and then he inspects, connects and signs off under his license.
--

Dan


Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Which state is this?
It sounds like a bit of overkill, but some sort of a "I'm not a total moron, let me do my own work" test isn't that bad of an idea.
A lot of electrical work is in knowing the proper procedures, materials and methods, because they can't spell everything out in that much detail. You're often winging it as to exactly how you do something, but you know the 'generally accepted practices' what is and isn't allowed.
The building inspectors would catch a lot of it after the fact, but there's a lot more stupidity that can be easily buried where they can't see or catch it, and that could result in dangerous conditions.
I've run into a few really "interesting" things over the years - like finding the color changing in the middle of the conduit run...?? And pulling a newer THHN wire out of a conduit to find a "Western Union" style splice in the middle of the run - no solder, just twisted the two wires together and slapped on a little cheap black tape.
Or finding what was left of aluminum Bell Boxes buried 6 inches down in the dirt, with what used to be splices inside going to post lights.
Rule Number One: NEVER say "Now I've seen it all." Because fifteen minutes later, you're just going to get your mind blown again. ;-)
--<< Bruce >>--
--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

snip -------------------------------------- The craziest thing I ever saw was when I was hired to troubleshoot a very expensive closed circuit security system. Good sony cameras. Good swicthing gear. So I walked the entire cable route. Some very well meaning master electrician had spliced video coax to 3 conductor 18G copper unshielded. I was amazed that any image was sent through the mess at all.
I had never seen wire nuts used on coax and never seen coax spliced to plain copper. I still have one of the junticions framed the wall in my radio room.
Mr master electrician was rather irratated and tried to argue that I didn't know what I was talking about. I had a 1000' spool of coax so I bullied him into helping me make a temp run. He shut up when he saw how clear the image was with coax.
Made a tiddy sum off that job.
Terry
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 03 Dec 2005 03:56:15 GMT, Bruce L. Bergman

How about having the neighbor call you to see why the lights dont work in his converted garage..and finding the entire conversion had been wired with (cheap) 300 ohm TV twin lead..including the outlets he was running the 2500 watt space heater on.....
I handed him a hammer..and told him once the sheet rock was gone, Id help him rewire the room properly.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I look inside electrical boxes in my house on occasion. If I see gobs of former screwdriver, I know that the former owner of the house was in there and that something needs fixing. One of his better ones was to hook up a 3 way circuit. Usually, the line voltage comes from the circuit breaker, and is sent down one of two travelers to the other 3 way switch. He hooked it up backwards, with one circuit breaker on each traveler and the result going to the other switch. The other switch took the juice and lit up one of two lights, depending on which position it was in.
Michael
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In my years of doing residential electrical work, i've ran up on so many dangerous messes that I can't even remember 1/3 of them. What bothers me the most is running up on one of those messes that was done by a supposed 'professional electrician'. Professional my ass.... If you can't do the job neatly, by code, and and take pride in your workmanship, you shouldn't have the 'professional' tag. As seldom as I do residential work anymore (2-3 years between jobs), the State Inspector still knows when he is inspecting one of my jobs as soon as he sees the work. I am rarely there when it gets inspected, the owners tell me that he walks in, looks, tells them who wired the house, checks 2 or 3 things, and signs the permit. One of them asked him how he knew who did the work, since my name is not on any paperwork. He said "His workmanship is so far above what anyone else in the three county area I inspect produces, it is immediately apparent." I am very proud of that compliment.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When I built my current shop 16 years ago, I had to explain 3 phase electricity to the county inspector. Wired two other shops for friends and the inspector didn't even come out when told that I had done the wiring.
And "matching" transformers to the city electric guys. To their credit, the city has improved vastly. The poor guy that is head of the department now has the nearly impossible task of correcting 40+ years of bad work.
--
Remove "nospam" to get to me.

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

and
He deserves it.
He cant do it.
There isnt enough coffee and donuts to get him through.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

electricity to the county inspector.
What qualifies these people to be *inspectors* then??

when told that I had done the wiring. Are YOU a licensed electrician or does your legislation allow for non-licenced people to carry out work?

the city has improved vastly. The poor guy that is head of the department

What qualification would HE have to have to head up that department?
Just for interest, what supply voltage do you folks use? How is it obtained from your "supply authority"? Where is the metering done?
Nationally we use a single phase, 220 - 240 V, 50Hz (AC) supply. Most residential applications conform to the above, however if required a three phase, 380V supply can be installed.
Most domestic applications have a 60A main circuit breaker with the same rating on the supply authority side (just a slower tripping curve)
Some of my High Voltage Substations are supplied with 66kV from the supply authority, this is then transformed down to whatever is required (standard is same low voltage as above [380V - 400V three phase] or [220V - 240V single phase] (the difference is the allowable tolerance]
Would be interesting to hear what you folks use...
PS, just thought I would add that regulations specify that "live" conductors are red or brown, neutral must be black and earth must be yellow and green.
Cheers.
Bodie .
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I am non-licensed, but trained for years by a Licensed Journeyman Instrument Electronics Technician who was the toughest boss I ever had. (My Dad) Legislation allows a homeowner to do his own wiring, or be responsible for the wiring. The inspector is thorough, but has inspected enough of my work over the years to know it is to code.

Supply voltage for the area I am in is 240V single phase, 60 hz AC. 3 phase supply in this area is 480V Delta. Metering is done at the residence/business.

In this area, a 200A minimum service for residential is highly recommended by the Electrical Cooperative.

Lines around here range from 500kVA to 11.2kVA. Major transport lines will be 500kVA, secondary will usually be 22.4kVA, and distribution at 11.2kVA. Step-down transformers are provided at residences to step down from 11.2kVA to the 240V.

Here Neutral is White, earth must be green, green/yellow striped or bare copper, supply conductors are black or red for AC.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Anthony wrote:

I helped a friend of mine wire up his shop. He was going to run romex around tacked onto the ceiling. I cringed at the idea he had.
I showed him how to run emt and pull thhn wire. He had a local electrician he knew to put in the 3 phase service. I helped him wire the rest of the shop. I had to twist his arm to put in a reasonable amount of 110vac outlets around the shop as well as some extra 30 amp 3 phase ones.
The electrical inspector took one look at the job and signed it off. I haven't done much work in 20 years but rule no. 1 is that if you make it neat you'll be way ahead of the game. Most of the stuff we did was commercial and industrial. Our biggest problem with electrical inspectors in NJ was to get them to show up on time. We would bribe them with coffee and donuts to show up on time otherwise there none left when they came late.
John
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

my
Hehe. The electrical profession is HEAVILY REGULATED here. No actual inspectors but licenced electricians have to "sign off" Certificates of Compliance affirming that the installation complies with National Electrical Wiring Regulations, and that all the materials used also conform to National Quality Standards and that this can all be proven with Certificates of Authenticity.
The electrician signing the CoC is then liable for any failures that relate to non-compliance. And I agree, working neatly is the first thing one should do.
Thanks for the input.
Bodie.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In this particular case, the city had just instituted a "building inspecton" requirement and the "inspector" position. An alcoholic carpenter's helper was the only one to apply for the job.

Not anymore, but in another lifetime I was a licensed industrial/ commercial electrician; required by my employer at the time for my position as facilities maint. engineer.

I'm not sure of his qualifications other than he came from the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority), and those people seem to know their shit.

"You're not from around here, are you?" :> Meaning you're not in the USA, right?
My case, electricity is generated by the LCRA and delivered to their substation at 120KV. Dropped to 77KV for distribution by the city. Dropped to 480V (3 phase only) or 230/120V and metered at the service entrance of the customer.
Neutral conductor is normally white. Ground wire is green or labeled as ground. Current conductors can be any color other than white or green. If white is labeled as "hot" (as in three way lighting using romex) it can be used as current conductor.
--
Remove "nospam" to get to me.

Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.