AEM, SkillsUSA Team Up to Tackle Manufacturing’s Skills Gap

AEM, SkillsUSA Team Up to Tackle Manufacturing’s Skills Gap

When it comes to workforce development, community matters. Your next generation of workers are right outside your door, down your street, or sitting in a classroom. So how do you go about introducing yourself?

It’s important for every company in the equipment manufacturing industry to seize any and all opportunities to help fill their workforce pipeline. That’s why the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has teamed up with SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

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RELATED: DCA Supports SkillsUSA To Champion Workforce Development, Close Skills Gap

“AEM is thrilled to be able to partner with SkillsUSA as part of our ongoing effort to open doors for the association’s members and allow them to gain access to uniquely valuable opportunities to enhance their workforce and help secure a bright future for our industry,” said Julie Davis, AEM director of workforce development.

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The agreement between AEM and SkillsUSA reflects each organization’s commitment to be a solution to the skills gap, grow interest in skilled and technical trades, dispel stereotypes, as well as ensure all students are both college and career ready.

SkillsUSA provide educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical in classrooms across the nation. More than 345,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA each year, and there are more than 19,000 local chapters across the nation introducing their members to skills such as:

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  • Electrical wiring

  • Welding

  • CNC

  • Automated manufacturing technology

  • Robotics

“Leveraging partnerships such as this are vital to Wisconsin and the United States,” said SkillsUSA Wisconsin Executive Director Brent Kindred. “We are proud to be working with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Together we will make a difference.”

What AEM and SkillsUSA Need from You

SkillsUSA and its local chapters seek to foster relationships with AEM member companies like yours, throughout the country. In addition, they are looking to:

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  • Take a tour of your company and see how certain trade skills fit in a real-world experience.

  • Meet with your organization’s skilled tradespeople and learn about why they are passionate about what they do.

  • Meet with your organization’s owner, manager or HR professional to understand what you see the future holds for our industry, what future opportunities exist, and what your overall perspective is as it relates to the industry.

  • Assess the willingness on the part of people within your organization to volunteer, provide resources and/or help meet other needs.

Making the Connection

Students starting in middle school programs can graduate with seven years of trade skills, along with excellent leadership and soft skills training, eventually becoming the individuals you want to employ at you company.

RELATED: SkillsUSA, NASSCO Team Up to Support Outstanding Skilled Trades Students

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Getting outside of your company and into your community is the first step to building your workforce. It creates goodwill in your community and within your employee base. Research conducted by the Student Research Foundation shows that 64% of students surveyed who were enrolled in technical education after high school say their own interests and experiences have the strongest impact on what career pathway they choose.

“Help give youth an experience that connects them to the jobs you need filled,” said Davis “SkillsUSA makes that connection easy. It’s also a way to connect to your community school system, as the SkillsUSA leader is often a trades teacher. It’s a perfect two-for-one connection that you just shouldn’t pass up.”

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For More Information

Find out if there’s a SkillsUSA chapter near you by visiting the organization’s chapter locator map.

For more information, to share success stories, or to start a SkillsUSA chapter in your area, email AEM’s Julie Davis at

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SOURCE – Association of Equipment Manufacturers

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