You Might Not Know It, But You Need an Intern


As spring makes its early bloom (well, right after we get through this snow storm), it won’t be terribly long before students will be out of school for summer. Have you considered bringing on one (or more) of those students as a technical intern? If you haven’t thought about developing an internship program at your company, you absolutely should. Here are some reasons why:

  •  It will help you later: A common concern throughout all of manufacturing is the lack of skilled workers. Bringing on an intern is one step toward building your own “homegrown” talent. They will get trained to your specifications, for the skills that you need.
  • It’s “try before you buy”: When you hire someone off the street, you always take a risk that the person who seemed so great in your interview won’t really cut it on your shop floor. With an intern, you get a number of weeks to see how well they perform and fit into your company culture. They’ll know you, and you’ll know them. Come time for the intern to find a full-time job, they’re going to know and remember you, and you may just have the perfect hire.
  • It’s low cost: Sure, if you can afford to pay your interns something, you absolutely should. Rules vary in terms of how much you have to pay, but the bottom line is that it won’t cost you as much as a full-time hire. (If you only offer bare-bones pay, however, or no pay at all, your schedule should accommodate the intern’s possible need to work another paying job. It’s true that you are paying them with real-world experience, but many of them still have tuition bills and living expenses.)
  • Schools can help you find them: Some educational institutions require a certain number of experience hours for a student to earn a degree. Contact your local community or technical college to find out if they have such a program, or how you might get in touch with eligible students.
  • They aren’t just limited to summer: If you can be flexible around class schedules, interns are often available year-round. Again, contact your local educational institutions to find out if they have a formal internship program.

MTCareers is the place to find the pipeline of newest talent coming into the manufacturing industry. Post your internships and entry-level job openings at


Happy Manufacturing Day!

This calls for a celebration – Manufacturing Day is here, a day devoted to expanding knowledge and improving public perception about careers in manufacturing and the industry in general.

To honor the day, a number of manufacturers are offering facility tours and other events. Here at AMT headquarters (home of IMTS show management), IMTS TV has created a video featuring Doug Woods, President of AMT, talking about why manufacturing matters. We also have a feature on the NIMS Student Skills Summit, which attracted thousands of students to IMTS 2012, and videos covering other great topics around manufacturing.

With a skills gap growing only more pervasive throughout manufacturing, now it's more important than ever to reach out to students and educators to give them a real understanding of the good paying, highly technical careers available in the industry. We need these bright minds and the enthusiastic energy behind them to ensure that U.S. manufacturing has a strong future. While exhibitors at IMTS were encouraged to welcome students into their booths, this is an effort that happens every day - not just on the show floor. 

What are you doing to mark this day? What do you think needs to happen to improve public perception of the industry?

“Maker Schools”: A Way to Bridge the Skills Gap?

An article from Wired pointed to a recent phenomenon of classes and schools that teach “maker skills” – hands-on, DIY skills geared toward 9-5 desk jockey-types who are great with, say, a Power Point presentation, but maybe not so much at the skills necessary to make tangible objects.

The schools and programs teach everything from quilting to welding to plasma laser cutting. They’re popping up in major metropolitan areas and small towns alike. And they’re not just in the U.S. – you can find them all over the world.

So it begs the question … is this the beginning of a revolution, where herds of office drones trade their Aeron chairs for welder’s helmets, or a career as a CNC machinist?  It’s too early to say. But as the trend toward DIY takes root — manifesting itself in everything from backyard vegetable gardens to garage-housed 3-D printers — it’s possible that more than a few folks are eager to spend their days getting their hands on something other than a mouse and keyboard.

If nothing else, it appears to be a fantastic opportunity to educate a segment of the population who otherwise would not be aware of the technical know-how necessary for today’s manufacturing industry. It might not be the magic bullet that closes the skills gap, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

"Young Minds at Work" at Lockheed Martin

Students Explore Science and Space Applications

April 28, 2011 Press Release: 

"Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Space Systems Company campuses across the nation today opened their doors to over 3,200 children aged six to 18 years to introduce them to the wonders of science, physics and mathematics in the space industry through its annual event “Young Minds at Work” day. The event inspires children to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics education by demonstrating applications in our everyday life.

“Inspiring our youth to explore the world around them is not just important to our company but to the global economy,” said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president for Space Systems Company. “Children exploring science, technology, engineering and math today will be our leaders of tomorrow, innovating for a better and healthier planet. Young Minds at Work is one way Lockheed Martin invests in our children by tapping their natural curiosities and problem solving skills.”

Some of the activities they participated in were:

Practicing docking a spacecraft
Flying an airplane in a simulator
Launching water bottle rockets

Wish there was a program like this when I was in school!!

To see the full story:  Lockheed Martin



The first global online science competition

Get your budding scientist ready - the first global online science competition is on! Google Science Fair is open to full-time students ages 13 to 18. My oldest isn't old enough yet, but I am so excited for all the innovative kids out there that get to do this.

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