VistaTek was happy to host two US Senators in September as part of a roundtable discussion regarding the skills gap in the workforce. Minnesota Senator Al Franken and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. This was a very interesting event, and we believe our tour showed the politicians what manufacturing in the present day looks like. Injection molding facilities like VistaTek are no longer dirty and loud. We are optimizing robotics, technology, and electric injection molding presses. These presses are quieter and more energy conscious than previous generations.
The other part of the visit included a roundtable discussion with other manufacturers, technical schools, organizations, and Stillwater High School. This was a very beneficial meeting to hear from the Senators and the initiatives they are working on at the Federal level such as “The Career and Technical Education for Adult Learners Act (S. 3349, also known as the “CTE for ALL Act”).
The manufacturing sector, like ourselves, are worried because there is already a workforce shortage in our industry. Moldmakers, Mold Designers, CNC Programmers, Plastic Process Engineers, and others are very difficult to find. The supply is low and the demand is high for these well-paying jobs. Nearly half of the work force in these positions will be retiring in the next 10-15 years. High Schools and Technical Schools are becoming extremely important in filling these positions. Our hope is that more dialogue, like this visit, will help close the workforce skills gap.