Don’t tempt youth with cheap labor

Tom R.

Published: January 11, 2013 6:00 am ET

I read your article regarding the skills gap and the forum to offer workplace help today [“Forum to offer workforce help,” Jan. 7, Page 6].

While I applaud your efforts on creating a place to find skilled workers, I disagree that there is a “skills gap” in this country. There isn’t any incentive for youth of this country to go into manufacturing, especially plastics. Low wages, almost no chance for job promotions, and not very many plastic molders to work for in a specific area. If you are willing to move your family every time you get a job and work for wages less than the average valet or supermarket shelf stocker then this is a fine industry.

As a frame of reference, I will share that I started as a press operator in 1992, moved into the toolroom to clean molds in 1993, went to trade school and became a toolmaker in 1995, became a product development engineer in 2001, tooling engineer in 2004, senior project engineer in 2008, and now I am a project manager at a $60 million-a-year molder. I would try my hardest to dissuade anyone I know into going into machining, tooling, and plastics. I personally love what I do. I get up every day and enjoy going to work and find it very fulfilling. I plan on retiring from the plastics industry when I am old and can’t work anymore ... not when I turn 62.

Please be careful on what “dream” you are trying to sell youth for your cheap labor. Most have already learned from their parents and teachers that you have to be asleep to believe it.

Tom R.

(Last name withheld on request)

Minneapolis


Comments

Don’t tempt youth with cheap labor

Tom R.

Published: January 11, 2013 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events