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March 2, 2022 | 26 Mins Read

The Future of Manufacturing

March 2, 2022 | 26 Mins Read

The Future of Manufacturing


Sarah welcomes Jake Hall, Founder & Content Creator, The Manufacturing Millennial to discuss the key trend shaping the future of manufacturing, including automation, robotics, what new skills and roles are needed, and how companies will need to work to attract younger talent.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. We are going to be talking a bit today about the future of manufacturing. I'm excited to be joined by Jake Hall, who is the founder and content creator at The Manufacturing Millennial. Jake, welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast.

Jake Hall: Thanks so much for having me, Sarah.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, thanks for being here. Okay, so before we dig in, we have a lot to cover, before we do that, tell our listeners a bit more about yourself.

Jake Hall: Yeah, absolutely. My background has always been in the world of manufacturing and automation. When I was a kid, I loved growing up playing with Legos, the mindset of building and creating. That just got me so excited. Fast forward years, I went to college and got a manufacturing engineering degree and a biomedical engineering degree. Fast forward 10 years later after that, and currently I'm a business development manager for a company called Feyen Zylstra. We're an industrial tech company that helps manufacturers modernize their existing systems and integrate new ones. At the same time, I have a personal brand called The Manufacturing Millennial, where I love to advocate manufacturing. I love to tell companies stories of what products and solutions they're bringing to the market that really solve a lot of problems that manufacturers are facing. And then talk about workforce, talk about skilled trades, and just a lot of great conversations around that.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I love it. We're not dissimilar, Jake, in what we do. It's exciting that our two worlds are colliding here. All right, awesome. There is a lot that I'm excited to pick your brain on. You cover a lot of the trends that are happening from a technology perspective in the manufacturing space. Let's start there, so anything that comes to mind for you. What are some of the most exciting trends that are happening in manufacturing that you think are really changing the game?

Jake Hall: Yeah, absolutely. Let's talk about why those trends exist. In manufacturing, manufacturing has always been viewed as an industry that's dark, dirty, and dangerous, right? It's the industry that your grandparents worked at and your parents never encouraged you to go into. Well, what's happening now in the manufacturing space is our industry is turning from a product-based industry to really a digital one. We're innovating a lot of ways that are leveraging new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, what we classify as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0.

Jake Hall: And some of the really cool stuff that we're seeing is new technology that's being adapted by younger generations, that's being adapted by the millennials and the Gen Zs of the world, where we're taking product innovation that we've used a lot of times in our daily lives and then bringing them to manufacturing. Something as simple as digital work-based instructions, the manufacturing industry, when we're setting up a machine or doing a tool change over or setting up a new job, a lot of times we always had these paper notebooks that we turn to a page and we find, "Oh, page 53, this is my process." Well, instead of doing on that manual three-ring binder, we're using an app do. What's cool about this is by leveraging all these new technologies, we're making manufacturers smarter and more efficient within their daily tasks.

Jake Hall: But more importantly, we're attracting a future workforce in the manufacturing space that is critical right now. By 2028, so within five or six years, they're saying there's going to be somewhere between 2.4 to 2.8 million jobs unfulfilled in the manufacturing industry. A lot of that has to do with what we call The Silver Tsunami. It's the baby boomers that are going to be retiring in the next few years who've been in the industry for decades, who carry all those skills, who carries all that knowledge. There's going to be a massive labor shortage, and we're feeling it right now. I mean, manufacturers, their biggest struggles right now are supply chain issues and then essentially the same thing, the supply of labor. So by leveraging these new technologies, it's really making manufacturing setting because it's making them more efficient and it's making the industry more excitable for people to come and work in.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Way more appealing-

Jake Hall: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: ... than our parents were maybe making it out to be, or then it was. Okay, if you think about some of the trends you mentioned, robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, those sorts of things, what are some of the biggest ways you see manufacturing operations evolving? And what will that look like in, say, five years from now? I'm curious for you in your role, how widely adopted are some of those cutting-edge technologies and how much do you think that will expand over the next five years?

Jake Hall: Yeah, absolutely. How widely adopted, the answer is simply just not enough. For a long time, automation was viewed as a risk. Because with automation, becomes the skill and the knowledge of knowing what to automate the know-how of how to build systems or how to work with integrators to create those automation solutions. And then the third part is turning that capital investment into, really, an operational expense of how do you keep those investments running after the person who supplied those resources forward to you has left. When you look at the manufacturing industry, somewhere around 95 to 97% of manufacturers are small to medium-sized businesses, SMBs, SMS, there's different abbreviations, but that represents the majority of the manufacturing industry, is small-to medium-sized businesses, under 50 employees.

Jake Hall: Well, with a company that's under 50 employees, a lot of times the owner who's running that company has to worry about a lot more than just the automation of integrating a new robotic system, for example. Let's use a machining company as an example. So, Tim down the road has a machining company where he employs 20 workers. And those 20 workers are running 15 CNC machines on their floor making parts for a tier-three automotive company. Tim has a lot to worry about. He has to worry about scheduling. He has to worry about getting materials and battling the labor shortage, all that stuff. And all the people who currently work for him aren't necessarily engineers or robot programmers or all that stuff, so how can he leverage new technology but at the same time being a low cost entry point for him?

Jake Hall: Robotics is a fantastic example of that. Collaborative robots is this idea of industrial robots that have been around for decades. They first entered the automotive industry 40, 50 years ago, more than that. But collaborative robots are interesting because they've been viewed as not necessarily used as a collaborative space, but because it was very easy for first-time robot user to learn how to program a robot and set it up. Well, what this robot's doing is it's allowing a worker to not stand by a machine anymore and wait for that part to complete. A worker or a CNC person can then program that robot to then take parts in and out of a CNC machine autonomously. So now that one worker can now run four machines instead of just a single one.

Jake Hall: Because what's happening right now is Tom who's down the street, or Tom or Tim, whoever I use as an example, is also competing against Amazon, who just installed their brand new 600,000 square foot facility where they're paying 401(k), four weeks of benefit, flexible hours, all that stuff. He can't pay or be as competitive as one of the largest companies in the world, so how does he stay in business? Well, he leverages automation by reducing the risk of, really, of labor, of keeping talent inside of his area, where if he can't hire 20 machinists, he needs to find some way to stay in business. And he's going to use collaborative robots or automation or machine tending or a work sell, for example, to make his operations more efficient. That's-

Sarah Nicastro: Now... Sorry, go ahead.

Jake Hall: Yeah that's just an example of leveraging automation from a smaller scale.

Sarah Nicastro: Right. Now, the ultimate objective, though, is not for Tom, Tim or Tim, Tom to not hire anyone, right?

Jake Hall: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: That's where the collaborative word comes in, right? You're talking about tools and technologies that can assist the workforce to maximize their utilization, to make their jobs easier, to keep output high, those sorts of things, not the idea of completely replacing the machinists.

Jake Hall: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Am I understanding that correctly?

Jake Hall: Absolutely. We want people to work with robots, not like robots. Those are two different things, right? If a person is doing this repetitive task over and over again, what value are they bringing? What is their purpose? What are they proud to go home and say they did at work when they go home for dinner that night or they're talking with family? If they're just doing the same thing over and over again, that's working like a robot. But if you can go and you can work with robots to make them do those boring, repetitive, a lot of times unsafe or high physical demanding jobs and have a robot do that instead and you're managing these robots, that's of value.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Jake Hall: Maybe several decades ago when the manufacturing in the US was struggling competing with a global economy where a company could go and get a product in China for pennies on the dollar compared to what they could get it in the US, yeah, manufacturers needed to reduce their cost as much as possible. But that time is changing where the cheap labor is gone. China, not to go off on other domestic countries, but China's actually integrating more robots than any other country in the world combined because they're taking their cheap labor force and they're making automation solutions because their middle class is growing dramatically. The same thing goes back to us where a lot of these companies are automating just for them to stay in business or for them to grow because they can't find the labor to actually grow their business. So, they're needing to automate to stay competitive.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I don't have any statistics on this, but I have to assume that just if you look at consumption, right, it's grown significantly, which means that scaling to meet demand with manpower versus technology is not sustainable, right? I mean, we can't just scale to meet growing, growing, growing demand. The reason I'm asking some of these questions, Jake, is in a lot of ways I cover... So even the manufacturers within our audience, we're typically talking about the aftermarket aspect and servicing and things like that. But a lot of the concepts are very similar so far in the sense of there's this almost fear among the workforce of automation when in reality there's no desire to replace the frontline workforce. There's a desire to evolve their role to be more value add, right?

Jake Hall: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: And then the other point you made, which is small company, mid company, large company, what we find is these leaders who are overburdened with putting out fires to the point where something like this, that ultimately is going to help them significantly short term and long term, is just insurmountable because they don't have to think innovation because they're scrambling to do what they need to do in the day.

Jake Hall: Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, cool. If you had to pick one technology trend in manufacturing that you are most amped to track over the next five years, what would it be?

Jake Hall: The adaption of artificial intelligence within manufacturing. We're seeing it a lot within the warehouse and the logistics industry right now. There's a lot of companies that are out there leveraging artificial intelligence with robotics to do autonomous picking and material handling. I have a really good friend over at FedEx and he's responsible for adapting new technologies into the logistic systems to make them more efficient. Down in Memphis, he worked with the team to integrate robots that are handling literally millions of parcels a day that were once a heavy labor process, from like 3:00 AM to 7:00 AM or some crazy number in the middle of the night that no one wants to work, it's such a boring task, but someone had to do it. Well, they're leveraging artificial intelligence to autonomously find the parcel or the package or the bubble wrap that they're picking, a robot will pick it, separate it, and take these tasks that were once a very strenuous high turnover rate person, because no one wants to do the same thing of this over and over again... For those of you listening, I'm just throwing my hands back and forth like you're in a post office just throwing packages over the place.

Jake Hall: No one wants to do that. There's no value in that. There's no like, "Man, I'm so happy with my life I'm doing this right now." What they want to do is they want to take those tasks and give that to a person who can then say, "Hey, you're going to run four robots now. You're going to make sure they're running. If there's a question that a robot has, we're going to send you a notice and you're going to make a decision for the robot." There's value to that. With every robot that's being integrated, it's a responsibility of a manufacturer to educate their workforce who's there to reskill them with the tools that they need to create value back to the company. And I think that's the biggest thing I always get back from my audience is, "Well, automation's taking jobs or low skilled jobs." In a lot of areas, we're taking low skilled tasks and we're automating them, but it's a responsibility for the manufacturer to then take that person who does have a lot of knowledge of the processes and retool that person to then create value at a much higher, hopefully higher-paid, higher value-added level than they what they were doing before.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Okay. All right, let's shift gears and talk a little bit about the people part then. Okay, so we've talked about some of the trends. It would be cool to get maybe some stories from you, maybe some of the companies you've worked with that might be willing to share some of the advancements that they've made. I mean, it would be interesting to hear some of those applications. I was at an event for DHL a couple of years ago before COVID. It was at their innovation center here in the Americas and they had a picking robot set up and working. I mean, they had a lot of really cool things that they showed. They also did some virtual reality stuff. But that robot definitely stuck with me because they put it through the rigors, if you will, of some different jobs to show the scope of what it was able to do, and it was quite impressive. All right, so let's talk about the impact all of this has on people, okay?

Jake Hall: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sarah Nicastro: And so, the first thing I want to talk about is how would you comfort an individual who has a career in manufacturing that has heard the first 10, 15 minutes of this conversation and has that immediate automation-is-going-to-take-all-the-jobs mentality?

Jake Hall: Well, automation's not going to take all the jobs because right now there's going to be 2.4 million unfulfilled jobs in manufacturing. Automation's never going to take jobs, it's going to fill the massive gap we have right now in manufacturing. And that's just because the growth of the industry, the growth of demand. When you're going to see a lot of reassuring happening here in America as a result of the pandemic really spiking that stuff, when people can't get their product off of a cargo ship, it really doesn't do great for them when, yeah, they might have saved 20 cents on the dollar by manufacturing it overseas, well, if they're not getting it, what's the point? Your 80 cents on the dollar isn't doing anything for you.

Jake Hall: So you're going to have an increased demand of localized manufacturing, domestic manufacturing here in America and domestic supply chains. So the person who's saying, "Well, automation is just going to take my job," automation is going to take jobs, but what we're going to see is you will then hopefully be moving up within the area to basically be reskilled in an area that's going to create more value. What I'm not saying is it's just one of those things that's just going to happen. In my mindset, you always need to keep learning. You always need to learn new things. If you are living at the status quo for 40 years not learning something new or learning a new skill, for me personally, that's pretty boring. It's your responsibility, I think, just as a human to continue to always learn and reeducate yourself with the changing times. So that would be my whole entire thing.

Jake Hall: And there are so many free ways for people to reskill themselves now than whatever before. In fact, you see a lot of people going back to community colleges right now for their second career in a lot of areas. They might have went to a four-year university and got trained in some... or got an education in some liberal arts degree. They couldn't find a job better than working at a coffee shop for five years, and they have $45,000 in student debt. Well, they need to find an industry that's hiring. Well, manufacturing's hiring at a great rate right now. So they go back in there, they get their apprentice program in robotic programming or welding or plumbing or HVAC, and now they're getting reskilled at the middle of their career, 30 and 40 years old. And now they have the opportunity to have a much more stable career that's going to continue to keep them successful and take care of them for many years to come.

Sarah Nicastro: You mentioned this a little bit, but there is a personal responsibility for people to upskill, reskill themselves, right, just to continue learning, right? Manufacturing or service or automation or not, I think collectively we are past an era of just complacency, right?

Jake Hall: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: We are past the time of being able to show up to any job for 40 years in a row, punch in and punch out, and never give an increasing amount of value over that span of time. I just don't think that exists anymore. So, there's a personal responsibility there, but there's also a responsibility of the manufacturers themselves to make sure that they're planning on how to reskill and upscale. What I wanted to ask is, what are some of the areas when you think about these education paths and some of the skills that are going to be increasingly valuable in the coming years, what are some of the areas that come to mind would be applicable for people to consider evolving into?

Jake Hall: Yeah. I mean, with every robot that is put in place, you're going to have to have people who can manage those robots, people who can program those robots. With any level of automation, there's going to be people who need to be skilled in understanding what that data is, making decisions off of the information that you're being provided from an interconnected, smart manufacturing floor. But if people aren't in the technical side of things, you don't need to be an engineer to do stuff, if you're good with working with your hands and you're not necessarily the brain type but more the physical type, great, there's a lot of skilled trades out there like welding or plumbing or being a machinist who can just work with their hands or working in the construction industry as that becomes more modernized. It's one of those things where there's always going to be those circumstances, I recognize it, but what I don't want people to say is, "Oh, we're automating, and things are taking my jobs." It's no, you're just choosing not to create a better job for yourself. There's always the outliers, but the outliers do not match by any means the current audience of what is viewed in manufacturing.

Sarah Nicastro: Right. And so, there may be some incumbent employees that feel some emotion around all of this change, but on the flip side of that, as you mentioned at the beginning, this evolution and the way that the process is becoming more technologically advanced and more digital and more data centric creates a whole new appeal for people that are the next generation of-

Jake Hall: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: ... workers. Let's shift gears and talk a little bit about that side of things. Obviously we've talked about a couple of the key elements. We're coming up against a 2.4 million employee gap, right?

Jake Hall: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sarah Nicastro: We are coming out of a generation where this industry and other skilled trades were just sort of, "No, that's not the way you want to go. You want to go over here and get a four-year degree and do this path." So how do we bring this all together, right? How do we increase the appeal and appropriately evangelize the modernization of manufacturing? How do we let young folks know about the potential that this industry holds? How do companies find them? What are some of the elements here that you have thoughts on.

Jake Hall: Yeah, oh man, lots to cover in all those questions. Manufacturing is consistently innovating. As I mentioned before, with innovation comes new technology, with new technology comes the adaption of using that technology. The one thing that I can say is millennials and Gen Zs, we grew up with technology. We are not afraid to program things. We're not afraid to leverage technology to get us information or to teach us things. When we want to learn something new, we want to learn how to make a recipe or change the tire in a car or change the oil or how to fix an appliance in our house, we turned to video, we turned to YouTube. We are a new society of self-learning, self-teaching skills. 25, 20 years ago, if we wanted to know how to replace a component in our car, we had to go to AutoZone, pick up a owner's manual, and learn how to do something and find the correct page through the appendices.

Jake Hall: Well, now we just go on YouTube and type in "How to replace component on car," and you're going to get 45 videos. I think it's the exact same way when we look at manufacturing. When we want to change how we're running, we can adapt automation at a much higher comfort level than what we did before. And so that's one of those things that I always encourage with small to medium-sized manufacturers. Well, I don't know how to program a robot. I don't know how to program this. I don't know how to do this. You know who is willing to learn, who is learning to learn how to use new technology? Millennials and Gen Zs. Because we grew up with learning how to do all these different apps and programmings and all this stuff just naturally. For something that's very intimidating and difficult to an older person, it comes very easy to a younger person.

Jake Hall: I was actually talking to my wife earlier, it was either yesterday or today. My four-year-old daughter knows how to operate a TV remote better than what my dad does. So here's a four-year-old, who's relatively young but knows how to work an app or an iPad or a TV remote better than my dad who literally has been around than technology has been existing. That just shows the mindset of how younger generations can think around technology and adaption.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Jake Hall: I go back to manufacturers, what you view as a high risk or area of not understanding is completely different perspective than younger generations. Let's just say you're not in manufacturing, this is just a general person who's listening to this conversation, marketing or social media influence, you might find it very difficult to create posts on LinkedIn or social media, or film a video as a segmented expert talking about a topic. You as an older person might feel intimidated by that, but your college intern or the person you just hired out of college might say, "Oh yeah, I can totally do that. How many videos do you want a week?" And that's just -

Sarah Nicastro: Do you know how many TikTok followers I have?

Jake Hall: Yeah, exactly. But it's just one of those things as leverage your generational skillsets to what they're good at. And this new generation is very comfortable with technology and sharing and expressing more than any other ones. So, if you don't know how to do it, maybe your problem is not hiring or changing the mindset of getting the right people in to leverage those solutions and be innovative.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I agree with everything you've said. There's two challenges I see. One is organizations who have historically hired based on experience that are unsure at best or unwilling at worst, to change that to instead of looking for experience, they're looking for skills or aptitudes or abilities that they can allow to grow in the role that someone's taking. And then the second is on the flip side going back to the challenge we talked about earlier, which is how do we then have these opportunities hold appeal for the young workers that are the ones who could come in and learn on the fly and figure it out and do some of the things that the existing leadership is uncomfortable with?

Jake Hall: Yeah, so your first comment, what was the question of that that you're seeing as an issue?

Sarah Nicastro: Sorry. I'm notorious, Jake, for asking multiple questions at once. The first part is that companies are historically hiring on experience.

Jake Hall: Yes.

Sarah Nicastro: So they're only finding these people if they have five years of experience in X role rather than looking at the kind of generational aptitudes that you're bringing up, which is maybe they come from... I had a friend on the podcast a couple of weeks ago and he said they've started looking for people that worked at Chick-fil-A before because they're very organized, they're very good at customer service. He doesn't care if they have experience, he can bring them in, teach them what they need to know, and send them on their way. But historically, these organizations are just dead set on looking for X years of experience.

Jake Hall: Oh, absolutely. You always see those posts on social media like, "Hey, we need you to have a four-year degree plus five years of experience and a starting salary of $16 an hour." I think it goes back to a whole entire HR thing where there's a massive misconception of what you actually need versus what you're putting down on paper. Manufacturers, I know just with the industry that I am, need to realize that you aren't going to find your golden person to come work for you. You either needed two options. One is you need to take employees working within your company right now and retrain and reskill them with the talent that you need to make that happen, right?

Jake Hall: If you need a person who's sufficient in programming Rockwell Allen-Bradley PLCs, great, take your maintenance tech and start teaching him how to program Rockwell Allen-Bradley PLCs. That's like the first thing. If you are needing skills but you're not investing in your employees for them to get those skills, that's a huge red flag on your own because you're not creating an opportunity to retrain and then retain your employees. Because if another company is saying, "Hey, your experience, you're working in the industry, don't worry if you don't have the skill, we'll come and hire you, we have a training program to make that happen." Well, the person's going to jump ship and go over there because they're saying, "This company's going to invest in my career beyond just what I'm doing now." And that's a huge thing that millennials and Gen Zs look at is, "It's not just what am I doing now, what are you going to do to prepare me for the future?"

Jake Hall: And then going back to the whole entire hiring thing, I think it just goes back to with the 2.4 million unfulfilled jobs that are going to be in manufacturing, you just simply need to hire people and then teach them what they need along the way. Stop always looking for the best person and then just trying to buy them with your money. Because if your culture isn't a hireable culture, you will lose people over time. Because eventually there will be another company that's willing to pay just as much as you are, but also is willing to invest in them beyond just a monetary value.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Jake Hall: All companies need to look at it's not just about how much you pay them, it's about how do you invest in them.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Now, what about how we attract young people to the industry?

Jake Hall: Yeah. Within younger generations, I go to colleges and I advise engineering students when they're graduating and they're looking at jobs and they say, "Hey, who is my boss? And who would I work for? And what did they do five years ago?" Because I always want know, is the person who I'm going to work for, have they been in that position for five years? Because a lot of times, if it's a position and you're working for someone in a department or a category, the person you're working for probably would be the next step in your own promotion. And if that person's been doing that exact same job for 25 years, you're going to get a very quick idea of, am I going to move up in that company or not? Versus if your current manager has only been there for 18 months because he was in your position 18 months ago, and to say, "Hey, maybe they're growing a lot. Or maybe there's a lot of turnover within the company."

Jake Hall: I always like to know within a hiring process is, who is my manager? How long have they been there for? And then what is the opportunity for growth? I think the manufacturers as well need to understand, their interview is their showcase. If they're not showing you how they're investing in you or how they're investing in new technology, they're not being attractive. If you're going in there and you're trying to hire someone and say, "Oh yeah, we've been doing the exact same thing for 20 years," there's no opportunity for that person within that company. They're going to look for somewhere else who say, "Oh yeah, we've added three new automation cells in the past six months and we want you to help learn how to run those." There's opportunity there because they're investing in something new for growth. If you're not adapting new innovation solutions, then you're not going to attract the people to come work for you either.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Now, can you talk a little bit about the role social media can play in bridging this gap, changing the perceptions of what manufacturing is, helping organizations sell the story of why someone would want to come work for their company? I know you're a big proponent of the power of social media. I mean, at least my perception is that it's not something that's broadly utilized by manufacturers. What are your thoughts on the role that could play in helping them find more talent?

Jake Hall: Like we talked about originally, right, manufacturing is an industry that's viewed as a dark, dirty, dangerous, dull environment, the four Ds. Social media is the way to begin to share the innovation that's happening in the manufacturing industry to your future workforce, which is millennials and Gen Zs who leverage social media to get their information. They don't go on websites anymore to look at stuff, they're on social media to learn about new solutions. You as a manufacturer need to begin to create content on social media to attract your future workforce.

Jake Hall: But also, for the workforce that's already in place that's making decisions, right, for a lot of manufacturing companies, engineers who want to learn about a new product don't necessarily call the sales rep anymore to find out information, they'll go on YouTube and they'll learn what that product is. I think YouTube's probably one of the biggest source for design engineers and controls engineers because if they run across an error within a PLC they want to learn, I bet you, they're going to go on YouTube and type in that error sooner than they're going to go to that manufacturer's website and look in their instructions or their reference articles, right?

Jake Hall: So the exact same thing with manufacturers need to leverage social media as just an information platform beyond just this idea of thinking it's just fancy videos. It's an educational source as well. I view social media as an educational source for me to educate the existing workforce but also the future workforce on all the cool technology and innovation that's making manufacturing great.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Hall: And that's why social media should be leveraged as well. It's not about just attracting your future workforce, it's about sharing the innovation that you're doing to address the problems that we're facing right now in the industry. And do that in a way that's showing how you're solving a problem and not just how you're selling a product.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I love it. All right, Jake, is there anything we have not gotten to that we should touch on today?

Jake Hall: No. I would just say the last thing would be is if you are a company, understand that it's your responsibility to invest in your future workforce and invest in the skills and the trades that need to happen. In this case, if you're a manufacturer, what are you doing to invest in your local community colleges or universities or career tech programs to make sure the kids who are graduating are applied with the correct skills that make them hireable. If you're a manufacturer and saying, "Oh, well, the kids graduating from a local college and university don't have the skills that they need to make them hireable and we need to go hire someone else," then that's your own fault and failure because you had the opportunity to impact that program, to say, "You know what? I need you to have these classes and these subjects taught in your college because that's what we need right now in the industry." Right?

Jake Hall: The college, university should be designed around to prepare people for their future career. But if there's a mismatch of people graduating, not being prepared to enter the workforce because they don't have the skills, we're going to fix that. I think the best way is for manufacturers and local companies to invest locally in their educational programs, and not just universities, your two-year colleges and apprentice programs as well, to say, "You know what? We're going to invest in them from a monetary impact but also from an advising and a teaching impact as well." And that's what I would encourage manufacturers and companies to do.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I mean, there's just far more responsibility today than there was 5, 10 years ago to create the talent you need. You can't just sit back and wait for it to come to you. I mean, it's not happening. I like the point you may earlier too, I mean, you mentioned that you go and speak at some of these colleges and schools and universities. That's another really good opportunity. The earlier organizations can plant the seed of the potential in the industry and the innovation in the industry and the career opportunities that exist, the better chance you have of getting someone's attention before they've already chose another path for themselves. So that's really important as well. All right, cool, Jake. Tell our listeners where they can follow The Manufacturing Millennial.

Jake Hall: Yeah. The best place is just to go on LinkedIn and search Jake Hall, or just go on Google and just literally type out "The Manufacturing Millennial." I probably will come up in all the top searches right away. But I'm on all social media platforms. LinkedIn is my main platform, but I'm on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, all social media platforms. And if you have any questions as well, you can email me to directly, and that's

Sarah Nicastro: Awesome. All right, Jake, well, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it.

Jake Hall: My pleasure. Thanks so much, Sarah.

Sarah Nicastro: You can find more at You can also find us on LinkedIn as well as Twitter, @TheFutureOfFS. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at As always, thank you for listening.