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How to Train Unskilled Manufacturing Workers

December 11th, 2013

The lack of skills among many manufacturing workers is little short of astounding: BusinessWeek.com reported earlier this year that as many as 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs went vacant.

The Inland Empire itself is no stranger to a skilled worker gap. The County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board reported in 2011 that many manufacturing companies in the Inland Empire can’t find enough skilled machinists, electrician, welders, and mechanics to “fill positions left by an experienced by aging workforce.”

As a result, several of these companies formed the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire in order to train the workforce. The Council has partnered with the Workforce Investment Board and local colleges (such as Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga).

If your Inland Empire company is having a hard time finding such skilled workers, you can contact the Workforce Investment Board for help in locating them as well as to get information about the training programs these entities have created.

In fact, if you have hard-working and reliable workers already on staff, consider training them yourself in the skills you need.

Read below for a short guide on how to train unskilled manufacturing workers.

  • First, understand that many unskilled workers, weren’t successful students. They may be unused to learning and find it intimidating. Therefore, any training you perform will have to take these challenges into account.
  • Make sure that you integrate new content and skills into your workers’ existing knowledge base so that they’ll understand the link between what they know now and what they are learning.
  • Consider an apprentice-type program in which an unskilled worker works with/is mentored by a highly skilled worker
  • Make sure you create a clear and concise job description of the position for which you’re training workers; knowing what the “essential activities” of a job are is critical to ensuring that your training is adequate. It also helps the student know when he or she has mastered the baseline skills.
  • Related to the job description, have a list of the outcomes (learning outcomes) you want trainees to master.
  • Create training that’s mostly hands-on, but don’t forget to include some “classroom” training, in which students learn the “why” of the skills their learning, not just the “how.”

Is your Inland Empire manufacturing firm having trouble finding skilled workers? If so, what are you doing to mitigate the problem? Are you training motivated current employees in these skills?

As you look for skilled manufacturing workers, look to Arrow Staffing for help. We’ve been matching skilled and reliable workers with some of San Bernardino and Riverside counties’ top employers. We know “where the good, skilled guys are.” If you are looking for employment agencies in Riverside CA, contact us today.

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