James Warren is education director for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (Rockford, IL). For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call (815) 227-8213 or visit www.fmanet.org.
Despite an uncertain economy, many manufacturers across the country are reporting a lack of welders, fabricators, laser operators, electricians, press brake operators, machinists and a host of other skilled labor positions. As the economy begins to rebound and baby boomers begin to retire, this shortage is expected to worsen. The National Association of Manufacturers projects that by 2020 some 10 million skilled workers will be needed.