Reducing the Stigma of Trade Careers

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When you think of a successful career, what jumps to mind? An engineer? A doctor? A lawyer?

What if you were told that not all successful careers needed multiple years of education? Here’s the honest truth: you can get paid incredibly well at careers that don’t need a lot of education and experience. 

The trades, typically more manual positions, include electricians, plumbers, mechanics, medical imaging positions, law enforcement, and cosmetologists, just to name a few. While each of these requires specialized training, the cost and time associated with each are much less than that of a more traditionally “successful” career. Don’t automatically assume that you won’t be fulfilled with these positions, either!

It often takes decades to become a partner at a law firm, as an example, but with just a few years under your belt, you could be running your own electrician or plumbing company, and spend less time working than many people who go to school for 8+ years to earn their degree. You can earn good pay while also being fulfilled by running an entire business – that’s nothing to scoff at. 

So, if the pay is good, why is there a stigma about trades? 

People often assume that if you’re working in a trade or specialized position that your job has long hours, is dirty, and unfulfilling. Why is this? Honestly, a lot of it has to do with a lack of information regarding those positions, lack of exposure to these positions, as well as old stereotypes that aren’t true. 

According to a survey done by The Manufacturing Institute, 52% of all teenagers aren’t interested in the trades as a career path, and of those teenagers, 61% perceived manufacturing careers as dirty and taking place in dangerous places.

When you work in a machine shop, for example, the idea is that there are piles of old rusty metal just sitting in corners. Not true. In reality, a successful machine shop is well-lit, clean, and employees wear appropriate protective clothing and gear, including hearing protection. 

In the end, there is just a clear lack of information so kids don’t enter into these positions even though they are often high-paying, good careers.

If you’re looking to change up your dead-end career or thinking about what it would take to switch into a trade position, consider what you find enjoyment in. If you like trouble-shooting and working with your hands, something like an electrician would be an ideal position for you. ABC Heart of America has an electrician apprenticeship program that can put you on the right pathway to get your career started. If you’re looking for a more creative or artistic position, going in to cosmetology might be an option worth looking in to. 

A 4-year college tuition, which doesn’t guarantee a job, runs around $40,000 dollars, while a trade school is much closer to $10,000, and offers a higher chance of being put into a job immediately. Some trade schools will go so far as to place you in a position directly. 

While trade schools and careers don’t get a lot of the limelight, you can have a successful, well-paying, fulfilling position in a trade career.

Manufacturing Solutions: How Do Your Store Your Materials?

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Owning a manufacturing business puts you in a great position to predict what your clients will need in the future. You’re witnessing the birth of many different products, so you can actually track how products and industries evolve. However, you’re also at the sharp end of creating products out of thin air. Every manufacturing facility has to see itself as a logistical juggler. You’re trying to maintain your own inventory and not just those of your clients. To this end, your main worry has to be materials. Without the materials you require, you cannot use your tools, the skills of your employees, automated robots or practically get anything started on the production line. So how do you store different materials?

Storing steel safely

Even though steel is highly inflexible during its room temperature state, it doesn’t take up much room. Storing steel girders is quite easy if you have the warehouse or manufacturing facility that is set up for it. Large steel girders should be kept near the transportation bay. They need to be loaded straight from the loading bay, into a flat floor area. Steel girders need to be stacked on top of one another and stop with a protective liquid that will prevent rust. You’ll also need an industrial tarp that can prevent the steel from being covered in dust or debris. Steel girders need to be kept out of the way of normal movement paths around the facility. A forklift truck should not be in danger or ramming into the girders accidentally. Employees must also be allowed to carry things and walk safely without hitting the girders which will be stacked at knee or waist height.

The food storage challenge

A client is a bread brand and you are their chosen producer. Your manufacturing plant has to be kept extremely clean as hygiene in the food industry is of the utmost priority. This means you need to have storage solutions for the massive amounts of ingredients you require. Silos are great containers because they allow for mass storage of things like grains. However, they are made out of aluminum, for the most part, so you don’t want to overload them. Using silo load cells, you can safely store grains without ever being in danger of accidentally filling them up too much. The weighing uses a digital weighing system, so employees only need to take readings to check up on how much grain they have left.

Electronics without charge danger

As an electronics manufacturer, you need to keep your components safe from one another. Preventing items from being charged is your highest priority. Circuit boards should never be near a magnet. Batteries should never be near a heating element. Your components also need to be separated from one another until they are being fitted into the product. Design your facility in stages, so each stage of the production line has its own storage capacity for the components it requires. It keeps all items away from each other and simplifies material replenishment on the floor.

Manufacturing is an incredibly exciting sector. It’s where the magic of commerce really happens, but by that same token, there’s always a challenge to have effective storage solutions.