Potomac is pleased to announce that our innovative workforce training programs have been featured in a new book published by Photonics Media Press.  The New Collar Workforce documents how blue collar jobs have become digital, creating new opportunities in smart manufacturing.

Based on research with 200 U.S. manufacturers ranging in size from startups to Fortune 10 companies, the book makes clear that New Collar Jobs for operators and technicians are the future of manufacturing.  From laser machining and CAD design to 3D Printing and robotics, the Digital Factory needs a skilled workforce to create the products of the future. Of course, since we work in laser micromachining, Potomac has been at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, in the process creating New Collar Jobs for over three decades. 

In recent years, Potomac President and CEO Mike Adelstein has expanded Potomac’s in-house workforce training program to include collaboration with local educational institutions.  Formal digital manufacturing training at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the Community College of Baltimore County and the Maryland Institute College of Art have led to paid internships at Potomac for students seeking a New Collar career.  The program gives students practical experience in a real-world manufacturing setting that includes ISO quality standards, on-time delivery and strong customer service.  Many of the students find post-graduation employment at Potomac.  Says Mike Adelstein, “We are impressed with the skills these students already have mastered.  They can jump right in and learn the particulars of our equipment and processes.”

Potomac’s program came to the attention of the Baltimore County government and Mike was invited to serve on the region’s Economic and Workforce Development Board of Directors to help share successes with other companies in the area.  Mike explains that the Department’s goal is to create jobs in the county and so Potomac was a perfect fit.  Like any other places in the country, Baltimore County is excited to have high tech manufacturing located in their area since pay is higher when STEM [Science-Technology-Engineering-Math] jobs are required.  The County also wants to duplicate Potomac’s success at bringing workers without college degrees – especially minorities – to smart manufacturing careers and providing pathways to engineering and higher level professions.

While the mainstream media paints a picture where robots take over our manufacturing jobs, in truth, humans are still needed at this point in time to design, program, maintain and repair robots with whom more often than not they’ll be working as co-bots. And Baltimore County is looking at using technology such as a smart phone app to make access to jobs easier for workers coming from the inner city out to Baltimore County in order to meet the skills gap.

Mike points out that it is a new manufacturing workforce landscape: “Employers must be motivated to get their people up to speed to tackle the New Collar Jobs’ smart manufacturing needs.  We must all step up to the plate to give America the types of jobs we need to support our families and fulfill the dreams of all Americans.  New Collar Jobs offer stimulating challenges, opportunities to change the world through innovation, higher pay, and an ability to advance professionally.”

To read more about The New Collar Workforce and Potomac’s innovative Programs to fill the manufacturing skills gap, get your copy of the book from Photonics Media today!