Episode 5 of SOLIDWORKS Manufacturing Live – Lynette Frey from SCC Milford Mfg Technology

Over the last couple of episodes of Manufacturing Live, we have spoken with Titan Gilroy from Titans of CNC and Meaghan Ziemba from Mavens of Manufacturing. If you missed either episodes, I encourage you to watch them on-demand by clicking on those links. The majority of the discussion and questions from the audience was about educating today’s workforce, and how we all must work to fill the growing gap in the next generation of people working in manufacturing.   Before we introduce our next guests, let’s talk a little about why manufacturing and the skills gap are important to everyone.

The widening skills gap

First, without manufacturing, design, and innovation come to a standstill.  Everything designed, whether industrial, mechanical, or virtual, is tied to manufacturing.  The phone, computer, and internet all rely on someone building the components you are using to read this.  Whether it is subtractive or additive manufacturing, someone has to build the machines to make the components to be sold to the consumer.  More importantly, the facility, trucks, stores are all part of manufacturing as well.

To provide a little insight on the size of this skills gap, let’s take a quick look at some statistics from the following research.

There is an estimated 2.4 million manufacturing jobs that will likely go unfilled through 2028. Those unfilled jobs will lead to economic impacts in local communities, states, and country levels.  Also, keep in mind these jobs are not your grandparent’s manufacturing jobs.  Manufacturing has evolved to be sophisticated and high-tech; no longer are factory and shop floors the dirty, grimy places that we often grew up seeing on TV or in movies.

But what does this transition in manufacturing look like? Well, if we review the research, we can find the following:

  • 47 percent of today’s jobs might be gone in the next ten years, including 20 percent of assembler jobs in manufacturing.
  • Overall headcount is expected to increase, meaning these jobs would transition into other skills, likely infused with technology.
  • Manufacturing executives stated the top five skill sets expected to increase significantly in the next three years due to the influx of automation and advanced technologies.
  • Sought-after skills include technology/computer skills, digital skills, programming skills for robots/ automation, working with tools and technology, and critical-thinking skills.

With the skills gap growing and the requirements changing, how do we make sure we find the right people with the correct education and, more importantly, help everyone connect?  Well, that is the challenging piece of the puzzle.  Titan and Meaghan are doing their part to start the discussion and provide education and connections for the current and next generation of workers.  But there is also another piece of the puzzle that has seems to be overlooked today: the technical schools in your local communities.

Many think that EVERY high school student should to attend a four-year school, whether they are built for it or not.  What is missed is that Technical schools often evolve with the market faster based on feedback from the industry.  They also traditionally cost less and provide multiple job opportunities per student before they graduate.  All sales pitch aside, these places, along with Titan and Meaghan, are where most companies will find the correct people with hands-on experience to lead the charge in the ever-evolving world of manufacturing.

In this episode of Manufacturing Live, we will talk with one of the oldest technical schools in the state of Nebraska.  Southeast Community College Milford Campus.  Lynnette Frey is one of the instructors in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. We are lucky enough to have her and two students talk about what they see as the future and what compelled them to get into Manufacturing Engineering.  They are also looking for your questions and thoughts to help the next generation tackle high-tech manufacturing!

SCC Milford started in 1941 and over the last 75 years, has been a leader in manufacturing technology through machining and manufacturing engineering along with Non-destructive testing.  From supporting World War 2 through the first Computer-Aided Design classes, SCC has helped companies throughout the Midwest innovate and compete on a world stage.

So set your calendar so you won’t miss it on Tuesday, October 5th at 11AM ET on LinkedIn.

Have you missed any of our episodes? Click on the links below to catch up on all the amazing conversations on SOLIDWORKS Manufacturing Live!

Episode: Jason Jacobson, Brehmer Manufacturing

Episode: Titan Gilroy of the Titans of CNC

Episode: Meaghan Zimba from Mavens of Manufacturing



Michael Buchli
Michael Buchli has 20 years of design and manufacturing experience throughout the Midwest ranging from Aerospace to recycling systems. A number of those years were spent learning and understanding workflows and processes to improve efficiency and productivity. From running CNC equipment to welding and painting Michael has been hands-on in all aspects of bringing products to market. Michael is also certified in many areas of mfg and a CSWP. He has also written the CAMWorks Handbook.