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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default A $100,000 Factory Job. What's Uncool About That?

    What's uncool about a $100,000 factory job? These days not much. In fact, factory jobs -- once considered back-breaking and low-paying -- have become high-tech and high-salaried.

    Still young people don't get it, say factory owners, who can't find enough skilled workers.

    "When I was an apprentice in the late '70s, kids were dying to get into manufacturing. There were plenty of factory jobs," said Joe Sedlak, a machinist who owns the Chesapeake Machine Company in Baltimore. "There are jobs for the taking today. But kids don't want them."

    Stereotypes about factory jobs still persist. And the media isn't helping, factory owners complain.

    "On TV, kids don't see many positive images of manufacturing," said Bill Mach, president of Mach Mold, a manufacturer of plastics molds in Benton Harbor, Mich. A show will have a scene with "an old dark building with a bird flying out of it, and something bad happens."

    Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, agreed. "Pop culture has a big impact on young people," he said, adding that the only recent positive pop culture depiction of manufacturing that he can think of has been in Iron Man.

    The industry needs an image boost, and young people need to get educated about high-skilled factory jobs, experts said.

    An aspiring machinist -- a popular factory job -- can start training at 18 and then do a one- or two-year manufacturing apprenticeship. In five years, he or she could be making more than $50,000. In 10 years, that could double to $100,000.

    Not a bad salary for a 28-year-old.

    "If you're really good at your work, you could remain employed for a very long time, because there are so few of us," said Sedlak.

    Sedlak's top worker makes $30 an hour. And annual pay at his company ranges between $70,000 and $80,000 with overtime. In 31 years, only three workers have retired from his factory.

    Still, with almost 13 million unemployed Americans, including many high school graduates, he is struggling to fill positions.

    A recent Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte report underscores that. Manufacturers currently have 600,000 vacancies nationwide, it said.

    "When we pushed manufacturing out of the country, we pushed job opportunities out," said Sedlak.

    The downward spiral that followed was swift. With jobs gone, schools ended vocational classes. Kids lost interest in manufacturing. Many states stopped sponsoring apprentice programs in factories.

    In early spring, Justin Lavanway, 17, and two of his high school buddies, toured Mach Mold to learn more about manufacturing and its jobs.

    His grandfather was a career machinist with Whirlpool. "I saw that it was a pretty stable career for him," said Lavanway. "That's why I'm keeping my options open."

    But his friends, Joseph Johnson, 18, who is thinking about a job in medical services, and Charlie Leaf, 18, who wants pursue a career in psychiatry, are not interested in manufacturing.

    "The public school system tells students that we have to go to college to be successful," said Johnson. "Ever since you're young, you hear that's what you have to do to achieve the American dream."

    Johnson and Leaf also don't think manufacturing offers stable careers.

    Mach hears this often from young people, even through manufacturing is a deep-rooted profession through generations of families in Southwest Michigan.

    And it's just not true, he said. "I have 40 people in my plant. Half have been there for 15 to 25 years."

    "There's no easy answer to how we can change manufacturing's image problem," said Paul. Companies themselves have to be up to that challenge, he said.

    One idea is to turn to pop culture, said Paul.

    "Maybe we need someone cool like Clint Eastwood to say, 'Go work in factories' as a follow up to his Super Bowl Chrysler ad."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    I read that article last night too. That's some pretty good scratch for a youngster, hell, anybody.
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  3. #3
    Unchained Stidham's Avatar
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    The trouble is finding young people who actually want to work 8 hrs a day or more.
    Ladies and gentlemen, hobos and tramps, Cross-eyed mosquitoes and bowlegged ants; I'm here before you to stand behind you To tell you something I know nothing about... ~Sammy Hagar

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    Eruption
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    10.30.17 @ 05:08 AM
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    It is much easier to be a professional student until you are 30. Really working for a living sucks (at least it does according to all those &*^$%@&#^((_+ reality shows on tv)
    It is what it is

    I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said

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  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Being someone who runs a factory I can say that they are great paying jobs for skilled individuals. Our starting rate is about $13.00/hr, almost twice the minimum wage. We have employees that range from $15.00/hr up to $37.00/hr.
    There is nothing wrong with manufacturing jobs, however right now the industry is pretty slow in CT.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 12:23 AM
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    "The public school system tells students that we have to go to college to be successful," said Johnson. "Ever since you're young, you hear that's what you have to do to achieve the American dream."



    And therein lies the problem. Parents, teachers, and society have done a disservice to our youth by steering them away from good paying manufacturing jobs. Every kid is not university material and there is nothing wrong with being an apprentice or going to community college to learn a trade. It's just not as exciting to say your son or daughter works in manufacturing, as opposed to a white collar job.

  7. #7
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    When I was in highschool we had an industrial arts wing of the school. There was an auto shop, a metal shop, a woodworking shop and a graphic arts shop. I took everyone of those classes throughout the 4 years I was there, Sadly on my last year metal shop comprised of cutting up all the machinery and equipment for scrap because the school was phasing the industrial arts classes out. Now, 22 years later my son is entering the same school and that wing is now an ESPN television studio to teach kids about broadcasting.

    I think it was a huge mistake. The town we live in has a lot of manufacturing jobs. The biggest problem we have as manufacturers is finding qualified applicants that even know what an Allen Wrench is.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.07.17 @ 02:51 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stidham View Post
    The trouble is finding young people who actually want to work 8 hrs a day or more.
    Hell, where do I sign up. Working 8 hours a day would make me feel like a part timer.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Where they are leading children wrong, in my humble opinion, is the blanket "you must go to college".

    What you must do, is learn a skill to be highly paid. Some of those skills require college. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, etc.

    But many skills do not, and I can tell you from experience, there are a lot guys who didn't go to college for whom I am doing their taxes, and they make a lot more fucking money than I do. I have a client driving a Ferrarri making twelve million a year, and he barely graduated high school. Learned a trade, started his own business, worked his ass off and put everything on the line. But of course, he didn't build that business, I forgot, the government did it for him (sorry, I digress!).

    You have to learn an in demand trade if you want to earn a good living.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    I've been in manufacturing for over twenty years. To make that kind of money in this area...well, be prepared to live at your job.
    Utilize. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

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  11. #11
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    This article is bullshit. I drive through industrial parkways everyday....guess what? They are all boarded up. All of those jobs went to China and are not coming back unless you want to work for $9 a day like they do in China. People buy all their stuff from Walmart that is "made in China" and don't care if local hardware stores close or factories.

    There are 8 CNC machinists in my family, guess what...all 4 have been laid off more than once and only 3 are working right now and they are making less than $10 bucks an hour and ARE very skilled. For every position that opens over 100 apply.

    NOBODY is paying a machinist 100 G's a year. BULLSHIT article.

    Until we put some tariffs on China, it's not changing. and we will continue to be in debt to them because they will work for nothing...
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

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  12. #12
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    A retard can see the math doesn't add up.

    This guy says his top worker (the foreman, shop manager) makes $30 bucks an hour. (I'm sure everyone else makes considerably less).

    Sedlak says you can make $100,000.00 a year. His ONE FOREMAN would have to work 64.1 hours EVERY week of the year to make that. So basically he is full of shit.

    Most of his workers probably make $15 an hour which is $31,200 a year. THIS is what machinists truly make when they are skilled today. If you are an apprentice, expect $7.50 an hour or $15,600 a year.

    Don't expect benefits or overtime pay either...you will make the same on overtime.
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

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  13. #13
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagarfn View Post
    I've been in manufacturing for over twenty years. To make that kind of money in this area...well, be prepared to live at your job.
    TRUTH.
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 08:19 PM
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    You also live in one of the worse hit areas in the country in regards to manufacturing, I don't know the data off the top of my head, but I am sure there are places in the country where skilled manufacturing is still paid well.

    I know I just had a plumber in my house to replace my hot water heater, and that guy charges more an hour than I do.

    And I fucking gouge people!
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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