The High Value of the Right Skills

The High Value of the Right Skills

Companies averaged a savings of $400,000 annually per technician, or six times a technician’s average salary, when they employed “precision” maintenance technicians and engaged precision maintenance practices, according to a recent report from the University of Tennessee Knoxville-Reliability and Maintainability Center (UT-RMC). Additionally, these advanced technical maintenance skills and properly trained technicians helped avoid about 50 percent of human-error-generated issues.

It’s no secret that a skilled workforce can make a significant difference in profitability. It sounds simple and obvious, but in reality hiring truly qualified candidates is anything but easy or automatic. Research on the impact of properly trained employees is also scarce.

Enter Danine Alderete-Tomlin, executive director of the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative housed at the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System (KCTCS) office in Versailles. She is intent on helping companies increase both the number of highly skilled technicians as well as the extent of research done on the subject.

Alderete-Tomlin spends her fast-paced days at AMTEC, which is a National Science Foundation ATE Center of Excellence, working with partners – companies are industry partners; community and technical colleges, universities and secondary schools are education partners. She and her colleagues are the middle in which both ends of a variety of partnerships meet. AMTEC helps industry define and refine the set of skills needed to perform each job. Simultaneously, it shares this data with educators, helping them tweak curricula to prepare students who will ultimately fill those jobs.

Originally AMTEC focused solely on better preparing highly skilled mechatronics technicians for automotive manufacturers. Today AMTEC also works with other industries, although the automotive industry remains the primary client.

The final product is two-fold: industry-vetted maintenance certification assessments that pinpoint the precise range of skills needed for a variety of jobs and college curricula aligned to industry-led skills standards.

Read the full story at The Lane Report.

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