PMG provides labor solutions to American manufacturers. That’s what we do in a nutshell and we take the “solution” part of that equation seriously. As a result, all of us here end up asking a lot of questions to make sure we find the right way to solve the real problem. But, during that process, we end up getting asked a fair amount of questions ourselves. This blog will provide answers to the things PMG employees get asked the most.
How do you advocate for the skilled trades and technical education?
Glad you asked! PMG takes advocating for technical education, the skilled trades, and careers in manufacturing seriously. We believe it’s a responsibility for all of us within these industries to do our best to promote them as well as we can. But why should we? How can you do so as an individual?
An advocate is a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. The key to advocacy is publicly. You need to make your thoughts, feelings and opinions (your SUPPORT) known generally. This means the real question is how do you do THAT?
Do Your Homework
Make sure you don’t just know the topic, but also go deeper into the details. Make sure you truly understand key issues affecting things as a whole. What are the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for the industry? How can they be influenced? Is the skills gap the problem or just a symptom of the problem? Doing the digging necessary to have real opinions on these questions and others will help you cover a lot of ground in your journey to advocacy.
You’re not just representing yourself or your company when you speak or act as an advocate. Therefore, you should consider what influences are affecting every individual and business in your industry. Make sure you understand the challenges and innovations thoroughly and then develop ideas that benefit all those associated. A sincere devotion to improving the situation of someone else will pay dividends to your solution. The more people behind you, the farther and faster you (and your industry) will move.
Industries are big entities made up of large numbers of people. Not all of them will be passionate about the same thing. If you can find people in the same industry advocating for different things, then you’ve found potential partners. Take the time to meet with them to discuss ways you can work together to everyone’s benefit. This could help you save time, effort, and resources. Key individuals with solid influence (people who have the power to make changes in their company or sector) are always great finds, but anyone can be a potential partner. As long as an individual is willing to listen to ideas and volunteer suggestions, you know you’ve found a good industry advocate.
Plan for Potholes
The path to progress is long, winding, and sometimes rough. Advocates need to be prepared for a bumpy ride before they ever start the journey. If status quo is causing stagnation, don’t be afraid of being labeled a disruptor. If someone or something is blocking innovation, be brave enough to speak up. It’s the job of an advocate to position growth and success for everyone in an industry. Those who may suppress that positive change for their own benefit should not be allowed to impair improvement for everybody else. What is good for one must be good for all or it’s not truly a solution in the first place.
More Resources For Becoming an Advocate
If you’re looking for more information on advocating for technical education, the skilled trades, or the manufacturing sector, please check out the mikeroweWORKS Foundation or the Titans of CNC Academy.
If you don’t even know whether or not your company is considered part of manufacturing, feel free to view our webinar on how the sector breaks down (it’s free and playable on demand).
Lastly, if you have your own question for PMG, we have an answer and we’d love to share it. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org to be answered in future FAQs.
About the Author
Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate