The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 year ago

Starting Young: The Next Generation of Manufacturing & Engineering Talent w/ Meaghan Ziemba


What manufacturers should do is stop moaning about the lack of skilled talent and start partnering with grade schools (yes, as young as eighth grade) to show young people, especially young women, how amazing it is to build a career in manufacturing and engineering.

But how?

In this episode, I’m speaking with Meaghan Ziemba, Owner, Copywriter, and Copyeditor at Z-Ink Solutions and Host at Mavens of Manufacturing, about her calling to create an educational network to inspire youth to pursue manufacturing.

In this episode, we discuss:

- Meaghan’s career journey into marketing for manufacturers

- Strategies for attracting youth to manufacturing and engineering

- Creating a work culture to support women and parents

Check out these resources we mentioned:

- Meaghan’s podcast

- Meet the Makers tour

- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

- Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA)


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So I feel like manufacturers can step up a little bit and maybe go to the high schools or even the middle schools and say, okay, where are your paying points? Where are you facing challenges to successfully teach these courses, and how can we help? How can we invest so that these are more successful? Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving midsize manufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. It's no secret that hiring great people are, frankly, any people, is harder right now than it's ever been for manufacturers. It's also no secret that if we don't get America's youth interested in manufacturing and fast, the problem is only going to get worse. I guess today is a manufacturing mom. She has a high school age daughter and she's an advocate for women in manufacturing. She's also helping lead the charge to reach today's youth and show them what a manufacturing career path could look like. This conversation was filled with some really smart and unique ideas for any manufacturing organization who's feeling this pain, and I'm excited to share them. So let's get into it. Megan Zimba is a brand storyteller and marketer for manufacturers, with a BEA and M A in professional and technical writing. She's been writing for manufacturing since two thousand and eight and hosts a live video broadcast series called Maven's of manufacturing. The series focuses on women in the sector and it's mission is to attract younger generations to join manufacturing or engineering career pathways to help close the skills and gender gaps. Megan is a proud Elo wife and mother of three. She enjoys cooking, cross fit and a Great Cup of coffee or glass of Whiskey. Megan, welcome to the show. Thank you, Joe. How are you doing? I'm doing well. I'm excited to have this conversation in a public facing way. You and I had a great chat a few weeks ago and finally, Matt, after I've see you online all the time. We have a lot of common connections and comment on each other's content and on Linkedin and it's fun to actually, you know, see you in the flash wilt, you know, through the computer of course. But so, yeah, I'm excited about this conversation today. May to you when I first heard about you, we're both in the marketing space. Yeah, that and common and some of your advice I used in terms of marketing content that I've created further companies. So thank you for that. Hey, you're welcome. That's great to hear, though, I love you know, sometimes you never know what things are resonating. You do to an extent, but sometimes there are people you know reading your content, watching your videos and then you hear it years later and it's like, oh, that's that's kind of it's rewarding to hear that you know had had some impact on somebody somewhere right. Yeah, absolutely, very cool. Well, Megan, it's very clear, as I think our listeners will soon discover, you've got a serious passion for manufacturing. I'd love to hear it's kind of kick this off by hearing a little bit about the journey that has led you to where you are now. So with manufacturing, I accidentally fell in it into it. I wasn't intending to have a career in manufacturing. When I was in high school I was kind of lost. Didn't really know what I wanted to do. was really shy and the youngest of six and my sister that's fourteen months older than me, she overshadowed me a lot. She talked for me, she finished a lot of my sentences and it kind of made me an introvert type personality. So by the time I got in a high school, you know, the biggest thing that my parents try to instill in my brain was you got to go to college and be an engineer or be a doctor, be a teacher or be something that makes a lot of money, and I...

...just didn't really understand or get why that was the thing. So I went to college against my own will. I was kind of pressured in by my parents to go and I almost flunked out twice. I was on academic probation, partied a lot, really didn't care about my classes, was in a depressed kind of state of mind and then I got pregnant with my daughter and I realized, will crap, I need to get my stuff together and be the role model that she needs so she can be successful. So I moved back to Wisconsin to live with my family because her dad at the time decided that he wasn't ready to be a dad. So did the whole single mom thing and went to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and learned about technical writing. I always thought I was going to be like a poet or a creative writer, but then I learned about technical writing, in the theory behind words and how people interpret it, interpret them from different cultures or different areas of the world, and it really interests me on how words can make you know accidents happen or build things that are complex. So when you think of a technical manual and it's a step by step process, you really gotta understand how, when you use certain words, it can direct somebody either to a disaster or to a success, and it just was really interesting to me. So that's what I went to school for and I use it now to help manufacturers, you know, share their brand story, but still maintaining the technical jargon that they have for the components that they're creating, but making it understandable enough for someone who might not be an engineering or manufacturing so it's a really fun opportunity for me to learn about technology and engineer ring and then right about it and get people excited about it. So when people ask me or are you, you know, manufacturer engineer by trade, the answer is absolutely no. I was terrible at Maths and science. Always liked science, but never really could get involved with like the formulations and memorizations and calculus was just a disaster to me. I still use my fingers to count and add and subtract, but yeah, I fell into it by accident. My first job was working at a trade publication and that's where I really started to learn about the passion that people put into their work and the value that it provides. And if you're an engineer, I don't mean to offend, but most engineers that I've met have been really socially awkward and don't really know how to like explain what they're doing except in a technical way. So it was really fun to like crack those hard shells and really get a deep understanding of why they chose this career pathway and what really excited them, and then seeing their faces on like a finished story that showed their product and how it made a difference, and then being really proud of. It really got me hooked into the industry. So I wrote for the trade publication for about seventy eight years and then I wanted to see if maybe I could try something else. So I wouldn't hire education and I really disliked it. Was Not my cup of tea, and so I went back can manufacturing and I worked as a marketing person, I guess you could say, because there wasn't really one role I specialized and I was doing a lot of bunch of different things. So I was doing writing and video stuff and project management for trade shows and community events and really just helping manufacturers get their brand story out there and connecting them with not just their customers but the communities that they were that they were into and, you know, having them have fun with what they were providing to everyone in the world. So from there, right before covid hits, I've always had this idea to...

...highlight women in the sector because, being a woman myself, you know, I know what it's like to be the only girl in the room during these conversations and kind of feeling out of place or intimidated a little bit because no one was in the group. That looks like me, there wasn't any other female so I wanted to highlight the women that I met through engineering and manufacturing at these trade shows and give them a platform where they could share their stories, because a lot of the podcasts and news stories that I've come across, the number one headliner was always a male which is fine, but you know, there's really amazing women in the sector that are doing some awesome things and I just wanted to give them that spotlight. So I decided to start meetings and manufacturing and the mission is really twofold. So so it's not to just provide women a platform to to share what they're proud of and what they're doing in the sector, but it's also a platform, you know, to tract younger generations of women into the sector. Right now we're only representing like thirty percent, and I believe that's the high end. I'm being generous by saying thirty percent. I think in actuality it's more like twenty seven or twenty eight and I think we can be better. I don't know, I'm very competitive person, so I want to beat the guys. I want to have like maybe sixty seven percent or something like that representation so I started listening to my daughter's conversations that she was having, because she's graduating high school this year, and I started noticing that none of them were talking about engineering and manufacturing or anything really technical, and I wanted to know why. So then I started digging a little deeper and I'm just now trying to, you know, use mevings as a platform so women can, you know, be proud of what they're doing in the sector and then make those connections with manufacturers and get younger girls excited about stem opportunities that are out there and kind of encourage them to believe in themselves and pursue something that they probably wouldn't normally pursue. If, you know, someone like me wasn't trying to put it in their face. So that's my journey. It's really long waited. I'm sorry, I'm a writer, so it's trying to talk a lot, but that's my learning through manufacturing and how I started evens. Thanks for sharing it. I think it's really interesting to hear how, you know, one thing led to the next and how you wound up where you are now. So, mayven's, I know you've got like a video series. We're interviewing, probably not too unlike what I'm doing here, but in a very niched way, with with women and manufacturing. You have the video series and you're trying to build a brand, though this is more than just a video series. I know you've got right now you're planning an event which will have passed by the time this goes live, but it's also probably is not, you know, hopefully right, is not a one and done thing to talk about the Mavens of manufacturing youth tour because I've heard, I've still I've watched you planning this a little bit and seen some other people who are going to be involved, and so talk a little bit about what that that is, about what you're physically doing and what the mission is. So I wanted to really dive into where the challenges are. So, throughout all of my conversations that I've been having with manufacturers, their number one challenge right now is trying to find the right workforce, talented workforce. We have this skills gap that's going on, but it's not just the skills gap. There's a generous gap and there's also a diversity gap, and I wanted to learn why. So I've been you know, trying to put myself in front of other people and connect with other people that could really teach me where their expertise are. And I made it a point to visit my local high school where I graduated from, and it was really exciting to see the excitement on the teachers because I kind of explain to them why I wanted to come visit their tech aid department and what I was trying to..., and they open, they welcomed me with open arms. They were just like absolutely, Yes, we need help, and so I went in there and of course there was only one or two girls that I saw in all of their courses. I think total they might have ten or fifteen combined with all the courses that they offer, but still significantly less than the boys that are in the classes. They're doing some amazing things with computer programming. They have CNC machines and one of their classes they have a great welding classroom. They have a construction course where their building frames of houses and learning how to like wire them correctly with electronics. So they're they're learning different skills, basic skills that are very important if you want a successful career moving forward. So I really just went there to kind of figure out where their pain points were, how they were recruiting students to these courses, how they were having conversations not just with the school counselors but also the parents of these students, and then I really wanted to go in there and just ask the students themselves. Hey, why did you sign up for this course? Is Engineering and manufacturing something you're interested it in? Has it been something you were interested in? What do you like to do outside of school? Where has your curiosity come like? Where does it come from? What are you going to do after school? What what kind of careery going for? And it was really amazing to hear the different responses. So most of the students really only pick the course because they needed something to fill out their schedule, which I thought it was kind of interesting. There were a couple that decided to take the courses because they knew the teachers that taught them and really enjoyed those teachers. Never had a class with them before, just knew kind of outside and passing the hallways and stuff, got to know them. So that really struck my interest to because it shows the importance of how mentors can influence someone to believe in them self and try something new. And then a lot of them were like my mom or my dad wanted me to take this course or the counselor suggested it. So I really started trying to connect the dots. I did talk to a high school teacher and another district in Illinois and you're on the phone with each other and he was telling me how, you know, he has a bunch of seniors taking his level one welding class or CNC class and he's like that doesn't help me because it's just something to fill up their time. It's not enough to persuade them to pursue something in CE ANDC. So he was saying that he wanted to try to target eighth grade is going in the high school and he and I were trying to brainstorm some ideas about how we can target eighth grader. So I'm wanted to use my platform and all of my connections that I've made on Linkedin and elsewhere. I'm really good at connecting people and talking to people and, you know, connecting dots that way. Just because of how many writing assignments I've had, I've been able to keep a mental note of like, okay, this person works in this industry, this person needs this help, so maybe this person can help them, and I try to connect those bridges. I've always been really good at that and I've been really good with public relations to so I wanted to take that skill set that I have, with all the connections that I've on Linkedin and elsewhere, and see if maybe I could provide this tour and really get different brands in front of kids and show them what an actual career pathway looks like. Initially I wanted to do for the first part of the tour, I wanted to do a facetoface facility tour, but covid has been a thorn in everybody's thigh and a lot of manufacturing facilities who are excited to do this or...

...hasited because they didn't want to be liable in case anybody got sick. So they were like, please come back to us when COVID has calmed down a little bit, because we definitely want to do this in the future. So they want to do the facility tours, they want to connect with these students and they want to start building relationships. So I just didn't want to let kids down. So for the first part of this tour. I had to adapt and I turned it into US going to the high school and live streaming a bunch of experts and that I've gotten to know fairly well over Linkedin and I'm so appreciative every single one of them, because they all have busy schedules but they know the value of this and they were like yes, sign me up. How are we doing this? So I was able to do a hybrid sort of conversation where some did pre recorded videos and then some just came in out of schedule time via stream yard. So I want it to be bigger, though. I don't want it to just stop at my community. I want to provide a template to show other communities how easy this can be. All it takes is some time to pick up the phone, dial numbers and connect manufacturers with high schools and outer community. One of the things that I saw on Linkedin that really got me excited was will hilly. I don't know if everybody knows him, but he's amazing. He's he works with Bay left. He just posted meet the maker's tour which they have this amazing decked out bus or trailer and they set stuff up in the parking lot. It was robotics. It showed motion, students were able to look really close at what they were doing and then they have an escape room and and it. It teaches them about manufacturing in an escape room environment. That is awesome. So just things like that, and that's a National Association of manufacturers like NAM that's doing that. I think right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I saw that as well. It looks really cool. Kudos to them like that. That's awesome and that's the next level that I want to bring this to. I want to I want kids to connect with manufacturers and get excited about what they're doing so that they know if you're not going to a mouth or science, that's okay. There's other places and manufacturing that you might sit in, like cat design. You could do that. But I also want to show them that, you know, if you're interested in the medical industry, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a nurse sort of surgeon. You can create robotics that do operations remotely, or you can work for an additive manufacturing company who specializes in prosthetics for different types of people, or you can work with robotics, because right now that's a big thing too, where they're trying to make robotic prosthetics for people, and I've seen a couple of the concepts that are coming out and there's super, super cool. The wiring class that this construction class that I met previously with, they can use those skills to hook up machines, see and se machines, or the robotics that are going to, you know, automate factory processes. They can use that skill to do that sort of thing. Another area where there's a huge need as welding, and a lot of these courses are teaching the basic levels of welding. Okay, will let's show them what that actually looks like. You're not just going to be welding these smaller components. There's big things out there that need certified, talented welders. So let's so let's show them that ship carrier or let's show them that Boeing airplane, and let's show them, you know, whatever other giant components are out there that need really fine welding so that it doesn't kill anyone. Let's do that. So that's where I want to take this. I want to just be able to get students excited. There's still debate where to start, and I think the younger the better. But...

I know that there's some restrictions and safety concerns when you bring kids that aren't sixteen or above and know a set factory setting. So I think that's another challenge that we need to like think creative ways of how to work around, because, I mean, I don't know about you, but myself my curiosity was at its peak when I was a young kid. Like and you have children. I have children. They're curious creatures. They want to know how stuff works, they want to know why it works the way. They always ask why, and I think the younger we start and nurture that curiosity through the time they're in high school, will have a better chance of getting them into manufacturing and engineering career pathways. I think so. Think that's really smart that you just said back in kind of just lightbulb one on for me. I don't know what the execution looks like, but when you talked about how d printing or additive might be used in the case of a prosthetic arm or welding has an application in, you know, helping put together an airplane right and like make sure people are safe in that setting, and so the things I just wonder what, what can people in manufacturing who are trying to reach the youth do to make a connection to something that they know, like something that is like real in their world, so that welding or, you know, machining or fabrication isn't just the sort of, you know, this concept that really doesn't have any meaning in their life? How do you create a connection to their world? Yeah, it's not, and I think that's where high schools are struggling right because they're only allowed so much. Depending on what state you're in, the legislation's going to be different. In the fundy he's going to be different. So in Wisconsin, the teacher that I was speaking with, she told me she was like part of our budget got cut and was allocated somewhere else. So that just hurt us even more because some of the materials that we need to actually do these courses or the hours we need to for the teachers to actually teach the courses, that got cut. So she's like, you're really put us in between a rack and a hard place, and she's like there's only so much funding too that goes into grants and scholarships and things like that. The instruction teacher, he was telling me that his budget went from Ninezero to almost fifteenzero, and it's because of the supply chain disruptions that are going on and just the availability of materials and how quickly they can get the materials, and some of that he took out of his own pocket, like because he wanted the kids to still be able to learn what he was trying to teach them. So I feel like manufacturers can step up a little bit and maybe go to the high schools or even the middle schools and say, okay, where are your pain points, where are you facing challenges to successfully teach these courses, and how can we help? How can we invest so that these are more successful? Another big thing is like field trips taking kids. When I was in seventh grade, we went to a park and we learned about biology elements by visiting the park. Well, and why not learn about trade elements, that are manufacturing elements, by going to a manufacturing poor, which was my initial goal for me, if it's a manufacturing I wanted to bring these students not just to one facility but to multiple within their community so they knew where. You know, a lot of these opportunities were coming from, because there is a report out there that for every manufacturing job there is, it actually creates around three or four more in your outer community, and that includes like grocery clerks or anchors or automobile places like. It creates that economic stability to support other business infrastructure. So it's really important, I think, for kids to know, yeah, our community is the way that it is because of the success or not so successful manufacturing...

...companies that are here not here, and I think it's important to connect that dot to so I think if manufactures, you know, found creative ways, because they do a lot of marketing right. They do a lot of investment in these trade publications and I know I'm probably going to upset some of the trade publications, but that being part of my background, I know that some of these ads that they're promising great leads from doesn't happen all the day. So, instead of investing in a print add that maybe twenty people might see, start investing in your community and investing in ways to market to your community and save some of the budget for that. I know a lot of manufacturers who get involved with first robotics and what they do is depending on what. I don't want to say what mission they have, like set standards every year. Like it's a different type of project every year for first robotics. So, like, if you're a components company, don't e parts to help them build the robots and don't look for any kind of Roi'm return. Just donate the parts. Say Yes, this is here and you know, if the school promotes and in some way on first robotics, have the school say, yeah, we're sponsored by this company and they provide us this parts. I think that's a great way and what it does to is it puts your brand in front of the kids. You're helping the kids have fun. So the kids are going to remember this brand is super cool because it helped us build this robot. It's fun. I'm going to connect the DOSS that way. It's like with any memorable brand. Like a lot of people remember Nike because you know how they did their branding. A lot of people, a lot of these students, know they are not bayliss. A lot of these students know has because Hosta does that same exact thing. They they insert themselves everywhere. They provide training, they provide technical support, they just are part of the conversation. So when you're a student and you're working with that machine, you're going to remember that when you leave, and that's any time you hear the word CNC machine, you're to think of pass right away. So I think more brands need to just start doing that and get kids excited a little bit sooner before they decide, you know what course they have to take senior year before it's too late. Yeah, good stuff there. Let's do a little brain storm here, Megan. Let's try to get the tactical for manufacturing people who are listening right now. So I'm thinking of like what role can a manufacture play with a high school or a trade school or back seventh or eighth graders or whatever, like a you know, I'll leave it up to you to where you where you want to talk about this. Like you've talked about field trips to facilities. Right, open up your facility, bring people in, let them see how interesting, you know, things are. They're going in there. Let him see the technology that that's present, from robotics to you know, connected factory stuff. Industry for point out technology, like there's so many interesting technology like technological advancements happening and manufacturing right now, and that, I think, would be super appealing to a lot of you. That they would never know is they're so bring kids into facilities right put machines in schools. You mentioned first robotics and Hass as examples. A Hossa is obviously a major like a household, name a huge company, but you know what kind of small manufacturer learned from that? And I'm just trying to think of what else. What else can you field trips machines in schools like? How about teaching, like being an adjunct teacher? You said you know so many manufacturers throw money at trade pubs, and what is that really getting you? Could you invest some of other resources, like the time of some of your people in in helping teach in a school, or write curriculum or heck, do some recorded courses like people are doing for you. If your Maven's tour write you and then that stuff is can be reused. I'm just going to thinking a lot of what else can I manufacture do to help in the schools? I love that you brought up teaching specifically because when I was talking... some of these Teca teachers from the high school that I graduated from there is so we all know about the grave wave that's happening in manufacturing. That's not the only place that it's happening. We're losing a lot of teachers too, and they're being it's very difficult to replace them, especially in Tech Education. When I was talking to the welder teacher, he was like we use this platform that distributes, you know, all the positions in the local area for techa teachers and he was like before it was only like maybe two or three positions were available, and I think he said there was like twenty available now or thirty. I think it's like I'm some of them have been available for the last few months. We cannot find teachers for Tech Education Anymore. One of the teachers that I spoke with who was teaching CNC, he was actually retired. He retired from Woodward Aerospace and he was a senc machinist and his friend worked at the same high school and was saying, yeah, we need help, we don't have anyone that's, you know, certified and seeing se machining or knows how to work the machines, and he was like well, do it, but he was already retired and now he's planning on retiring again, but only teaching part time. So I think offering up your resources as a small to maybe of size manufacturer to maybe take someone and go teach a class. You know out of an hour a day. How long our high school classes? I've been out of high schools a long and I remember how long they are. But just, you know, going in and teach them how you are using your skills within your own facility and then they'll make that connection to like, Oh, this is how they do it and it would be a lot easier for them to to sign up for apprenticeships or internships that you might have. And you're also creating a mentor for that group of kids. So it's like you're killing multiple birds with just one stone. Some other things are donating. If you donate materials, machines or even money, don't eat because a lot of these types of courses are lacking funding. Or if you have an organization that you're connected to, like National Association of Manufacturers or the TMA, or there's so many with so many different acronyms, if they have like a scholarship program or something, don'tate to that. Connect with these smaller organizations that are trying to advocate for manufacturing and engineering and see what type of events they're holding, see what type of scholarships they have and get involved make those connections. Another one that I thought would be cool. So when I was in high school and there they still do it now, and I only know this because my daughter is in a high school, but they have homecoming parades and they actually have kids on a community that make floats. It would be super cool if I'm manufacturing company then knew how to make like moving parts helps create like this, that, and this is something I just thought of today when I was thinking about this this interview. Like take part in that float making design. I bet you can come up with some really awesome float and the kids would have fun. They could ask questions about your products or your processes and then they can show it off to the rest of the city when you have your homecoming for ad. So just doing stuff like that, sponsorships, facility tours, get involved in any kind of activity. So October is natural manufacturing month. The first weekend is always manufacturing the first Friday is always manufacturing day. What can you do to highlight your products and processes on that specific day and how can you invite your entire community to get involved? Throw a barbecue, you know, do something creative. It's not that hard to get kids excited. I don't think like my kids are always...

...wanting to get in some kind of trouble, not like bad trouble, but like get into something. So make a productive connects, maybe with police departments or fire departments. There's manufacturing in the trucks that they're using, in the cars that they're driving, especially now with all the advanced technologies that are making cars be able to track things. My husband's a police officer and one of the things that they have on the police cars are cameras track people's speeds and they can read the license plate and take pictures of it and stuff. So like just cool stuff like that, like get involved with it. So I'm rambling. I'm sorry. Now there's a lot of great ideas there. I think it's awesome. I'm I would imagine people are listening right now and like I really hope some light bulbs are going on for people to you know, I think it's just spurs other ideas because I think you said it, you got to be creative. And just kind of think a little bit differently about how you can reach youth and get involved. It's probably not as hard as you might think. Yeah, I mean I understand with manufacturers your customers should be your number one priority, but with all the skills gap issues that were facing, you're not going to have any customers if you can't produce your product. So we kind of need to balance it out a little bit and really figure out, okay, how can we and you know, the industry of robotics and automation is something that's really fascinating to me because it is able to fill some of the most positions that are having a really hard time finding skill and talent for, which I think is amazing and I think it intimidates some people because the misconception is well, they're going to take all the jobs, and that's just not true. If anything, it's going to provide an opportunity to create more jobs that we didn't even think of. So it's great that we have robotics and automation to help, you know, kind of cushion the last back of skilled labor that we are experienced right now. But we are still going to need human bodies and manufacturing facilities and positions, and we can't do it unless we start off scaling some of the current workers so that they can do some cross training and multitask, or get these Yar kids excited and get them into manufacturing meg and let's shift gears here from them. We've talked a lot about getting youth involved. You're a mom and a woman in manufacturing and I know big part of your mission at Maven's is empowering women in the sector and putting a shutting a light on them and trying to, you know, make this a more appealing workplace for women. From your own personal experiences or those that you've observed by talking to other we women in manufacturing and specifically manufacturing moms, what do you think that companies in the sector can be doing that maybe they're not right now, to help someone like you find the balance they want in their life so that we can attract more women into this sector? So really I think it's dependent on the type of position, because I'm a writer and I'm mostly in the marketing department, which can be accommodated by, you know, remote work, and that's pretty much I'm I don't want to say that I'm happy the pandemic cabin because it was a terrible thing, but it did really open up a lot of people's eyes on understanding how easy it is to let people work from home, and I think that is a blessing, especially to parents, because it's hard having kids and having to be gone all day at another location because in case it's an emergency happens or whatever, you want to always be right there to respond right away. Manufacturing you do have the requirement of having especially if you're on the shot floor, you have to be there in case something bad happens on the shot for so how...

...can we work around you know, because a lot of women, I think, are afraid to pursue certain careers and manufacturing because of that requirement of having them be present. I did speak to a woman in Illinois. She is actually considering and she was supposed to be on Mavens but had to cancel a couple times and I'm still trying to rescheduleer and I want to follow up with her on this, but she was considering bringing in a daycare and building one on site so that the machineist who are women, could still come to work, have their kids there and if anything happened, they were right there on location with their kids. I think that's super awesome, especially considering how expensive daycare is. It's ridiculous and I think that's a creative way that manufacturers can also consider taking on some of that financial responsibility. So if a mom does want to work a lot of it, does have to deal. Well, I don't have child care, so I can't really go on a shot floor and we're all hours of the day and day care is not cheap. I'm sure you know it's pretty ridiculous in my area and I'm very blessed to have my mom and five other siblings that can help when they have time to. But you know, if none of them are available, I have to take off work or my husband has to take off work because we're not going to put money towards towards that because it's just ridiculous. So if there's a way to maybe compensate for some of that cost, I don't think anyone would have a problem taking a little hit on their salary. A lot of times people, you know, demand high salaries because it's helping them pay for something else, whether it's travel or living expenses or, you know, Child Day care. So manufacturers that can find creative ways to have those flex hours I think is important too. So if people want to work on Saturdays or Sundays so that they can take one day out of the week off, why not, as long as they're creating the product and getting it done again. This is me not being aware of any kind of standard that might be out there that says you can't do that, but why not allow people to work weekends if they need two days out of the week off? I think that would help bounce things out the TMA. They are a great organization and they actually created a grant for women who are already and manufacturing and engineering and they can use that grant it for whatever they want. So if you apply for this, I think the standard is you need some sort of management to approve the application as well too, so that they had that secondary resource to say, yes, this is what they're going to use it for. They can use it for whatever they want. So if they need new materials, that they need new tools, if they want to get certified like a next level certification of where they add it, where they're at, it pays for their schooling, or if they need extra money for child care. They can use it for it. There's no questions asked. They just have to go through an application process and I think that's really cool and I think if you know manufacturers can provide some creative ways, a lot more women would be interested in entering entering the sector. I talked to student. She was actually a one to Andrew Cross students and she wasn't approached by Andrew. Her boyfriend actually was, but she was the one that showed up to the class and she said she's like, I'm I'm a single mother, I have a daughter. I want her to know that, you know, there's ways of making good money, and she's like this makes really good money. And before she even graduated she had like three or four job offers and she was willing to work because it was going to help her be a better mom to a kid, and so she was able to work some agreements out where she could pick her hours or something like that. So just something as simple as that, where it helps,... know, them be a better mom but also help them be a better worker, I think that is a win win for everyone when you when you have a work culture that shows your employees that you know they are valuable to you, they're going to do a better job, they're going to like working with you, they're not going to want to leave. And nowadays, you know, with the new generations coming in, they kind of they know their value, they know what they want, they know what they like. So if they end up in a company that's not really going to be accommodating to what they think is what they deserve, they're going to go find somewhere else to work. So I think it's really important for manufacturers to just kind of think of creating ways like maybe adding a daycare to the facility or providing flex hours or adding more six days. I know there's manufacturers out there that still don't offer maternity leave, which is really crazy to me, or paternity leave. So why? Why not? Like it just doesn't make sense to me. So just hearing your employees and hearing what their needs are and then seeing where you can make adjustments to make it more enjoyable, because there are studies out there that happier employees are, the better work they're going to do in the more productive they're going to be. So I don't know, there's places in Europe they only work thirty hours a week, which blows my mind, and they still produce a lot of product and it kind of makes me wonder if, like, why aren't we adapting that philosophy year? Yeah, well, and probably some people listening right now are thinking you. Well, yeah, but there's a cost to all this. Right, but you know what? What's the cost of not having somebody on a machine that's sitting there not operating because you can't find somebody to run it? What's the cost of employee turnover? What's the cost that you don't see on a spreadsheet in your PNL, of unhappy employees who bring down culture and productivity and drive other people away earlier because it's a miserable place to work? And so I'm talking in extremes here, but I think you need to look at when you're really looking at the true cost of some of these things you're suggesting, look at the alternative to the whole comments of Oh, this all comes at a cost. Yeah, but okay. How much of a cost though? So if you're manufacturing company, and I'm willing to work with you, but my one stipulation that I'm looking for is some sort of compensation for daycare, and then you're like well, if we pay for daycare and then we're going to have to cut your salary by a certain percentage. Okay, sold, like, I'm fine with that. I have a range for a reason. Like you know, people say they're salaries and arranged for a reason. It's because they're allocating all of these costs that they're thinking about that can help them live the life that they want to live. So if you're taking on some of that responsibility and it means okay, my salary isn't going to be you know at that point, but it's still within my range, that's fine with me. One of the things that I enjoy doing is working from home. I'm more productive because I'm a writer from home. So I'm definitely on board, you know, and I don't want to say taking a pay cut, because I don't think it's taking a Pacut, I think it's a compromise. I'm willing to compromise some of my salary if I can work a certain amount of days at home and I can choose my hours, and I think that that's okay. So if if there's employees that are willing to work Saturdays and Sundays because two days out of the week, like the week days they need to be present for their kids because they're significant other is working to okay, then let them work Saturday and Sundays. If they can only work from like four o'clock in the morning to twelve, which I think is crazy, because there's actually people that get up at three o'clock in the morning to go to work at four in...

...the morning. If they can only work from four o'clock in the morning to twelve because that's what their schedule allows the why not? As long as they're producing and they're happy and it's helping the company grow, I think that should be considered. You know, we have third shift people all the time. So if someone wants to work at different hours of the day, I don't know. But again, I'm not a top level executive making these decisions, so I don't know what the process or the standards are. Well, I think ideas from all sorts of directions are valuable. So I think you think you've had a lot of releases planted, a lot of really good seats for people to think about here. Thank you. Well, Megan, we could probably talk all day. I know we could. We kind of have already, but I want to put a wrap on this here. So any parting words or, you know, if you had to summarize, any bits of advice you'd have for manufacturers listening out? There anything else you'd want to add here? Yes, I think manufacturing is an essential component of our economic stability and you know, back in the forties it was something that brought us all together and we are very proud of it and I feel like there are a lot of good companies out there and a lot of good people making amazing things and we should be very proud of it and we should help support it in any way that we can. So if it means taking some time and going to talk to kids or students or donating, I think we should do it because it's important and it gives us something to stand behind. It gives us something to be proud of. And if you're a woman and you don't know what you want to do for the rest of your life, I highly suggest looking into this sector because there are so many amazing women already within the sector that are doing amazing things and it is a great opportunity to problem solve, multi task and just me really good money to live a great life. So don't be afraid of it. Don't be afraid that right now there aren't as many women and yeah, let's just boost those numbers up, because I'm really competitive and I just want to beat the guys. Fair enough. I like it. Megan. Well, really appreciate you doing this today. This was a lot of fun and I love the message that I'm you're kind of broadcasting here to the world. So can you tell our listeners where they can learn more about what you're doing and about mayvins of manufacturing as well? Yeah, you can check out linkedin. I'm on there. My M also on Youtube and all the other social channels, but I have a website. It's me. Even some manufacturingcom beautiful, Megan, thanks for joining. Appreciate taking time out of your day for this. Thanks so much, Joe, appreciate it. Awesome. As for the rest of you, I hope to catch you and the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles videos, guides and tools specifically for bedb manufacturers. At Gorilla Seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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