The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 3 months 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 stepup a little bit and maybe go to the high schools or even the middleschools and say, okay, where are your paying points? Where are youfacing challenges to successfully teach these courses, and how can we help? Howcan we invest so that these are more successful? Welcome to the manufacturing executivepodcast, 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 toshare about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales andmarketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let'sget 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 andfast, the problem is only going to get worse. I guess today isa manufacturing mom. She has a high school age daughter and she's an advocatefor women in manufacturing. She's also helping lead the charge to reach today's youthand show them what a manufacturing career path could look like. This conversation wasfilled with some really smart and unique ideas for any manufacturing organization who's feeling thispain, and I'm excited to share them. So let's get into it. MeganZimba is a brand storyteller and marketer for manufacturers, with a BEA andM A in professional and technical writing. She's been writing for manufacturing since twothousand 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 youngergenerations to join manufacturing or engineering career pathways to help close the skills and gendergaps. Megan is a proud Elo wife and mother of three. She enjoyscooking, cross fit and a Great Cup of coffee or glass of Whiskey.Megan, welcome to the show. Thank you, Joe. How are youdoing? I'm doing well. I'm excited to have this conversation in a publicfacing way. You and I had a great chat a few weeks ago andfinally, Matt, after I've see you online all the time. We havea lot of common connections and comment on each other's content and on Linkedin andit's fun to actually, you know, see you in the flash wilt,you know, through the computer of course. But so, yeah, I'm excitedabout this conversation today. May to you when I first heard about you, we're both in the marketing space. Yeah, that and common and someof 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 areresonating. You do to an extent, but sometimes there are people you knowreading your content, watching your videos and then you hear it years laterand it's like, oh, that's that's kind of it's rewarding to hear thatyou know had had some impact on somebody somewhere right. Yeah, absolutely,very cool. Well, Megan, it's very clear, as I think ourlisteners will soon discover, you've got a serious passion for manufacturing. I'd loveto hear it's kind of kick this off by hearing a little bit about thejourney 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 careerin 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 ofsix and my sister that's fourteen months older than me, she overshadowed mea lot. She talked for me, she finished a lot of my sentencesand it kind of made me an introvert type personality. So by the timeI got in a high school, you know, the biggest thing that myparents try to instill in my brain was you got to go to college andbe an engineer or be a doctor, be a teacher or be something thatmakes a lot of money, and I...

...just didn't really understand or get whythat 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 flunkedout twice. I was on academic probation, partied a lot, really didn't careabout my classes, was in a depressed kind of state of mind andthen I got pregnant with my daughter and I realized, will crap, Ineed to get my stuff together and be the role model that she needs soshe can be successful. So I moved back to Wisconsin to live with myfamily because her dad at the time decided that he wasn't ready to be adad. So did the whole single mom thing and went to the University ofWisconsin Milwaukee and learned about technical writing. I always thought I was going tobe 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 themfrom different cultures or different areas of the world, and it really interests meon 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 stepprocess, you really gotta understand how, when you use certain words, itcan direct somebody either to a disaster or to a success, and it justwas really interesting to me. So that's what I went to school for andI 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'recreating, but making it understandable enough for someone who might not be an engineeringor manufacturing so it's a really fun opportunity for me to learn about technology andengineer ring and then right about it and get people excited about it. Sowhen 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 andmemorizations and calculus was just a disaster to me. I still use my fingersto count and add and subtract, but yeah, I fell into it byaccident. My first job was working at a trade publication and that's where Ireally started to learn about the passion that people put into their work and thevalue that it provides. And if you're an engineer, I don't mean tooffend, but most engineers that I've met have been really socially awkward and don'treally 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 adeep 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 andhow it made a difference, and then being really proud of. It reallygot me hooked into the industry. So I wrote for the trade publication forabout seventy eight years and then I wanted to see if maybe I could trysomething else. So I wouldn't hire education and I really disliked it. WasNot my cup of tea, and so I went back can manufacturing and Iworked as a marketing person, I guess you could say, because there wasn'treally one role I specialized and I was doing a lot of bunch of differentthings. So I was doing writing and video stuff and project management for tradeshows and community events and really just helping manufacturers get their brand story out thereand connecting them with not just their customers but the communities that they were thatthey were into and, you know, having them have fun with what theywere providing to everyone in the world. So from there, right before covidhits, 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 bethe only girl in the room during these conversations and kind of feeling out ofplace or intimidated a little bit because no one was in the group. Thatlooks like me, there wasn't any other female so I wanted to highlight thewomen that I met through engineering and manufacturing at these trade shows and give thema platform where they could share their stories, because a lot of the podcasts andnews stories that I've come across, the number one headliner was always amale which is fine, but you know, there's really amazing women in the sectorthat are doing some awesome things and I just wanted to give them thatspotlight. So I decided to start meetings and manufacturing and the mission is reallytwofold. So so it's not to just provide women a platform to to sharewhat they're proud of and what they're doing in the sector, but it's alsoa 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 thehigh end. I'm being generous by saying thirty percent. I think in actualityit'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 beatthe guys. I want to have like maybe sixty seven percent or something likethat 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 ofthem were talking about engineering and manufacturing or anything really technical, and I wantedto know why. So then I started digging a little deeper and I'm justnow 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 thenmake those connections with manufacturers and get younger girls excited about stem opportunities that areout there and kind of encourage them to believe in themselves and pursue something thatthey probably wouldn't normally pursue. If, you know, someone like me wasn'ttrying to put it in their face. So that's my journey. It's reallylong waited. I'm sorry, I'm a writer, so it's trying to talka 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, youknow, one thing led to the next and how you wound up where youare 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 ina very niched way, with with women and manufacturing. You have the videoseries and you're trying to build a brand, though this is more than just avideo series. I know you've got right now you're planning an event whichwill have passed by the time this goes live, but it's also probably isnot, you know, hopefully right, is not a one and done thingto talk about the Mavens of manufacturing youth tour because I've heard, I've stillI've watched you planning this a little bit and seen some other people who aregoing to be involved, and so talk a little bit about what that thatis, about what you're physically doing and what the mission is. So Iwanted to really dive into where the challenges are. So, throughout all ofmy conversations that I've been having with manufacturers, their number one challenge right now istrying to find the right workforce, talented workforce. We have this skillsgap that's going on, but it's not just the skills gap. There's agenerous 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 otherpeople 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 Igraduated from, and it was really exciting to see the excitement on the teachersbecause I kind of explain to them why I wanted to come visit their techaid department and what I was trying to..., and they open, theywelcomed me with open arms. They were just like absolutely, Yes, weneed help, and so I went in there and of course there was onlyone or two girls that I saw in all of their courses. I thinktotal 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'redoing some amazing things with computer programming. They have CNC machines and one oftheir classes they have a great welding classroom. They have a construction course where theirbuilding 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 ifyou want a successful career moving forward. So I really just went there tokind of figure out where their pain points were, how they were recruiting studentsto these courses, how they were having conversations not just with the school counselorsbut also the parents of these students, and then I really wanted to goin there and just ask the students themselves. Hey, why did you sign upfor 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 outsideof school? Where has your curiosity come like? Where does it comefrom? What are you going to do after school? What what kind ofcareery 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 tofill out their schedule, which I thought it was kind of interesting. Therewere a couple that decided to take the courses because they knew the teachers thattaught 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 toknow them. So that really struck my interest to because it shows the importanceof 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 wantedme to take this course or the counselor suggested it. So I really startedtrying to connect the dots. I did talk to a high school teacher andanother district in Illinois and you're on the phone with each other and he wastelling me how, you know, he has a bunch of seniors taking hislevel one welding class or CNC class and he's like that doesn't help me becauseit's just something to fill up their time. It's not enough to persuade them topursue something in CE ANDC. So he was saying that he wanted totry to target eighth grade is going in the high school and he and Iwere trying to brainstorm some ideas about how we can target eighth grader. SoI'm wanted to use my platform and all of my connections that I've made onLinkedin 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 assignmentsI'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, somaybe 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 publicrelations to so I wanted to take that skill set that I have, withall the connections that I've on Linkedin and elsewhere, and see if maybe Icould provide this tour and really get different brands in front of kids and showthem what an actual career pathway looks like. Initially I wanted to do for thefirst 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 manufacturingfacilities who are excited to do this or...

...hasited because they didn't want to beliable in case anybody got sick. So they were like, please come backto us when COVID has calmed down a little bit, because we definitely wantto 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 firstpart of this tour. I had to adapt and I turned it into USgoing to the high school and live streaming a bunch of experts and that I'vegotten to know fairly well over Linkedin and I'm so appreciative every single one ofthem, because they all have busy schedules but they know the value of thisand 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 didpre recorded videos and then some just came in out of schedule time via streamyard. So I want it to be bigger, though. I don't wantit to just stop at my community. I want to provide a template toshow other communities how easy this can be. All it takes is some time topick up the phone, dial numbers and connect manufacturers with high schools andouter community. One of the things that I saw on Linkedin that really gotme excited was will hilly. I don't know if everybody knows him, buthe's amazing. He's he works with Bay left. He just posted meet themaker's tour which they have this amazing decked out bus or trailer and they setstuff 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 theyhave an escape room and and it. It teaches them about manufacturing in anescape room environment. That is awesome. So just things like that, andthat's a National Association of manufacturers like NAM that's doing that. I think right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I saw that as well. It looksreally cool. Kudos to them like that. That's awesome and that's the next levelthat I want to bring this to. I want to I want kids toconnect with manufacturers and get excited about what they're doing so that they knowif you're not going to a mouth or science, that's okay. There's otherplaces and manufacturing that you might sit in, like cat design. You could dothat. 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 tobe 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 fordifferent types of people, or you can work with robotics, because right nowthat'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'ssuper, super cool. The wiring class that this construction class that I metpreviously with, they can use those skills to hook up machines, see andse machines, or the robotics that are going to, you know, automatefactory 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 thesecourses are teaching the basic levels of welding. Okay, will let's show them whatthat actually looks like. You're not just going to be welding these smallercomponents. There's big things out there that need certified, talented welders. Solet'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 therethat need really fine welding so that it doesn't kill anyone. Let's dothat. So that's where I want to take this. I want to justbe able to get students excited. There's still debate where to start, andI think the younger the better. But...

I know that there's some restrictions andsafety concerns when you bring kids that aren't sixteen or above and know a setfactory setting. So I think that's another challenge that we need to like thinkcreative ways of how to work around, because, I mean, I don'tknow about you, but myself my curiosity was at its peak when I wasa young kid. Like and you have children. I have children. They'recurious creatures. They want to know how stuff works, they want to knowwhy it works the way. They always ask why, and I think theyounger 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 kindof just lightbulb one on for me. I don't know what the execution lookslike, but when you talked about how d printing or additive might be usedin the case of a prosthetic arm or welding has an application in, youknow, helping put together an airplane right and like make sure people are safein that setting, and so the things I just wonder what, what canpeople in manufacturing who are trying to reach the youth do to make a connectionto 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 sortof, you know, this concept that really doesn't have any meaning intheir 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'reonly allowed so much. Depending on what state you're in, the legislation's goingto be different. In the fundy he's going to be different. So inWisconsin, the teacher that I was speaking with, she told me she waslike part of our budget got cut and was allocated somewhere else. So thatjust hurt us even more because some of the materials that we need to actuallydo these courses or the hours we need to for the teachers to actually teachthe courses, that got cut. So she's like, you're really put usin between a rack and a hard place, and she's like there's only so muchfunding too that goes into grants and scholarships and things like that. Theinstruction teacher, he was telling me that his budget went from Ninezero to almostfifteenzero, and it's because of the supply chain disruptions that are going on andjust the availability of materials and how quickly they can get the materials, andsome of that he took out of his own pocket, like because he wantedthe 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 goto the high schools or even the middle schools and say, okay, whereare 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 aremore successful? Another big thing is like field trips taking kids. When Iwas in seventh grade, we went to a park and we learned about biologyelements by visiting the park. Well, and why not learn about trade elements, that are manufacturing elements, by going to a manufacturing poor, which wasmy initial goal for me, if it's a manufacturing I wanted to bring thesestudents not just to one facility but to multiple within their community so they knewwhere. You know, a lot of these opportunities were coming from, becausethere is a report out there that for every manufacturing job there is, itactually creates around three or four more in your outer community, and that includeslike grocery clerks or anchors or automobile places like. It creates that economic stabilityto support other business infrastructure. So it's really important, I think, forkids to know, yeah, our community is the way that it is becauseof 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 marketingright. They do a lot of investment in these trade publications and I knowI'm probably going to upset some of the trade publications, but that being partof my background, I know that some of these ads that they're promising greatleads from doesn't happen all the day. So, instead of investing in aprint add that maybe twenty people might see, start investing in your community and investingin ways to market to your community and save some of the budget forthat. I know a lot of manufacturers who get involved with first robotics andwhat they do is depending on what. I don't want to say what missionthey have, like set standards every year. Like it's a different type of projectevery 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 forany kind of Roi'm return. Just donate the parts. Say Yes, thisis here and you know, if the school promotes and in some way onfirst robotics, have the school say, yeah, we're sponsored by this companyand they provide us this parts. I think that's a great way and whatit does to is it puts your brand in front of the kids. You'rehelping the kids have fun. So the kids are going to remember this brandis super cool because it helped us build this robot. It's fun. I'mgoing 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 arenot bayliss. A lot of these students know has because Hosta does that sameexact thing. They they insert themselves everywhere. They provide training, they provide technicalsupport, they just are part of the conversation. So when you're astudent and you're working with that machine, you're going to remember that when youleave, and that's any time you hear the word CNC machine, you're tothink of pass right away. So I think more brands need to just startdoing that and get kids excited a little bit sooner before they decide, youknow 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 schoolor a trade school or back seventh or eighth graders or whatever, like ayou know, I'll leave it up to you to where you where you wantto 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 seethe 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 technologicaladvancements happening and manufacturing right now, and that, I think, would besuper appealing to a lot of you. That they would never know is they'reso bring kids into facilities right put machines in schools. You mentioned first roboticsand 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 fromthat? And I'm just trying to think of what else. What else canyou field trips machines in schools like? How about teaching, like being anadjunct 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 ina school, or write curriculum or heck, do some recorded courses like people aredoing for you. If your Maven's tour write you and then that stuffis can be reused. I'm just going to thinking a lot of what elsecan I manufacture do to help in the schools? I love that you broughtup teaching specifically because when I was talking... some of these Teca teachers fromthe high school that I graduated from there is so we all know about thegrave 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 toreplace them, especially in Tech Education. When I was talking to the welderteacher, he was like we use this platform that distributes, you know, all the positions in the local area for techa teachers and he was likebefore it was only like maybe two or three positions were available, and Ithink he said there was like twenty available now or thirty. I think it'slike I'm some of them have been available for the last few months. Wecannot find teachers for Tech Education Anymore. One of the teachers that I spokewith who was teaching CNC, he was actually retired. He retired from WoodwardAerospace and he was a senc machinist and his friend worked at the same highschool and was saying, yeah, we need help, we don't have anyonethat's, you know, certified and seeing se machining or knows how to workthe machines, and he was like well, do it, but he was alreadyretired 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 sizemanufacturer to maybe take someone and go teach a class. You know out ofan hour a day. How long our high school classes? I've been outof 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 skillswithin 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 themto to sign up for apprenticeships or internships that you might have. And you'realso creating a mentor for that group of kids. So it's like you're killingmultiple birds with just one stone. Some other things are donating. If youdonate materials, machines or even money, don't eat because a lot of thesetypes of courses are lacking funding. Or if you have an organization that you'reconnected to, like National Association of Manufacturers or the TMA, or there's somany with so many different acronyms, if they have like a scholarship program orsomething, don'tate to that. Connect with these smaller organizations that are trying toadvocate for manufacturing and engineering and see what type of events they're holding, seewhat type of scholarships they have and get involved make those connections. Another onethat I thought would be cool. So when I was in high school andthere they still do it now, and I only know this because my daughteris in a high school, but they have homecoming parades and they actually havekids on a community that make floats. It would be super cool if I'mmanufacturing 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 thinkingabout this this interview. Like take part in that float making design. Ibet you can come up with some really awesome float and the kids would havefun. They could ask questions about your products or your processes and then theycan show it off to the rest of the city when you have your homecomingfor 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. Whatcan you do to highlight your products and processes on that specific day and howcan you invite your entire community to get involved? Throw a barbecue, youknow, 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 oftrouble, not like bad trouble, but like get into something. So makea productive connects, maybe with police departments or fire departments. There's manufacturing inthe trucks that they're using, in the cars that they're driving, especially nowwith 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 thepolice cars are cameras track people's speeds and they can read the license plate andtake 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'sa lot of great ideas there. I think it's awesome. I'm I wouldimagine people are listening right now and like I really hope some light bulbs aregoing on for people to you know, I think it's just spurs other ideasbecause I think you said it, you got to be creative. And justkind of think a little bit differently about how you can reach youth and getinvolved. It's probably not as hard as you might think. Yeah, Imean I understand with manufacturers your customers should be your number one priority, butwith all the skills gap issues that were facing, you're not going to haveany customers if you can't produce your product. So we kind of need to balanceit out a little bit and really figure out, okay, how canwe and you know, the industry of robotics and automation is something that's reallyfascinating to me because it is able to fill some of the most positions thatare having a really hard time finding skill and talent for, which I thinkis 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. Ifanything, it's going to provide an opportunity to create more jobs that we didn'teven 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 weare experienced right now. But we are still going to need human bodies andmanufacturing facilities and positions, and we can't do it unless we start off scalingsome 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'sshift 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 yourmission at Maven's is empowering women in the sector and putting a shutting a lighton them and trying to, you know, make this a more appealing workplace forwomen. From your own personal experiences or those that you've observed by talkingto other we women in manufacturing and specifically manufacturing moms, what do you thinkthat 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 thatwe can attract more women into this sector? So really I think it's dependent onthe type of position, because I'm a writer and I'm mostly in themarketing department, which can be accommodated by, you know, remote work, andthat's pretty much I'm I don't want to say that I'm happy the pandemiccabin because it was a terrible thing, but it did really open up alot of people's eyes on understanding how easy it is to let people work fromhome, and I think that is a blessing, especially to parents, becauseit's hard having kids and having to be gone all day at another location becausein case it's an emergency happens or whatever, you want to always be right thereto respond right away. Manufacturing you do have the requirement of having especiallyif you're on the shot floor, you have to be there in case somethingbad 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 andmanufacturing because of that requirement of having them be present. I did speakto a woman in Illinois. She is actually considering and she was supposed tobe on Mavens but had to cancel a couple times and I'm still trying torescheduleer and I want to follow up with her on this, but she wasconsidering bringing in a daycare and building one on site so that the machineist whoare women, could still come to work, have their kids there and if anythinghappened, they were right there on location with their kids. I thinkthat's super awesome, especially considering how expensive daycare is. It's ridiculous and Ithink that's a creative way that manufacturers can also consider taking on some of thatfinancial responsibility. So if a mom does want to work a lot of it, does have to deal. Well, I don't have child care, soI can't really go on a shot floor and we're all hours of the dayand day care is not cheap. I'm sure you know it's pretty ridiculous inmy area and I'm very blessed to have my mom and five other siblings thatcan help when they have time to. But you know, if none ofthem are available, I have to take off work or my husband has totake off work because we're not going to put money towards towards that because it'sjust ridiculous. So if there's a way to maybe compensate for some of thatcost, I don't think anyone would have a problem taking a little hit ontheir salary. A lot of times people, you know, demand high salaries becauseit'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 waysto have those flex hours I think is important too. So if peoplewant to work on Saturdays or Sundays so that they can take one day outof the week off, why not, as long as they're creating the productand getting it done again. This is me not being aware of any kindof standard that might be out there that says you can't do that, butwhy not allow people to work weekends if they need two days out of theweek off? I think that would help bounce things out the TMA. Theyare a great organization and they actually created a grant for women who are alreadyand 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 needsome sort of management to approve the application as well too, so that theyhad that secondary resource to say, yes, this is what they're going to useit for. They can use it for whatever they want. So ifthey need new materials, that they need new tools, if they want toget certified like a next level certification of where they add it, where they'reat, it pays for their schooling, or if they need extra money forchild 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 cooland I think if you know manufacturers can provide some creative ways, a lotmore 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 byAndrew. Her boyfriend actually was, but she was the one that showed upto the class and she said she's like, I'm I'm a single mother, Ihave 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 andshe was willing to work because it was going to help her be a bettermom to a kid, and so she was able to work some agreements outwhere she could pick her hours or something like that. So just something assimple as that, where it helps,... know, them be a bettermom but also help them be a better worker, I think that is awin win for everyone when you when you have a work culture that shows youremployees that you know they are valuable to you, they're going to do abetter job, they're going to like working with you, they're not going towant to leave. And nowadays, you know, with the new generations comingin, they kind of they know their value, they know what they want, they know what they like. So if they end up in a companythat'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'sreally important for manufacturers to just kind of think of creating ways like maybe addinga 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 isreally crazy to me, or paternity leave. So why? Why not? Likeit just doesn't make sense to me. So just hearing your employees and hearingwhat their needs are and then seeing where you can make adjustments to makeit 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 hoursa week, which blows my mind, and they still produce a lot ofproduct and it kind of makes me wonder if, like, why aren't weadapting that philosophy year? Yeah, well, and probably some people listening right noware thinking you. Well, yeah, but there's a cost to all this. Right, but you know what? What's the cost of not having somebodyon a machine that's sitting there not operating because you can't find somebody torun it? What's the cost of employee turnover? What's the cost that youdon't see on a spreadsheet in your PNL, of unhappy employees who bring down cultureand productivity and drive other people away earlier because it's a miserable place towork? And so I'm talking in extremes here, but I think you needto look at when you're really looking at the true cost of some of thesethings 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 acost though? So if you're manufacturing company, and I'm willing to workwith you, but my one stipulation that I'm looking for is some sort ofcompensation for daycare, and then you're like well, if we pay for daycareand 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 rangefor a reason. Like you know, people say they're salaries and arranged fora reason. It's because they're allocating all of these costs that they're thinking aboutthat can help them live the life that they want to live. So ifyou're taking on some of that responsibility and it means okay, my salary isn'tgoing 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 isworking from home. I'm more productive because I'm a writer from home. SoI'm definitely on board, you know, and I don't want to say takinga pay cut, because I don't think it's taking a Pacut, I thinkit's a compromise. I'm willing to compromise some of my salary if I canwork 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 willingto work Saturdays and Sundays because two days out of the week, like theweek days they need to be present for their kids because they're significant other isworking to okay, then let them work Saturday and Sundays. If they canonly work from like four o'clock in the morning to twelve, which I thinkis crazy, because there's actually people that get up at three o'clock in themorning to go to work at four in...

...the morning. If they can onlywork from four o'clock in the morning to twelve because that's what their schedule allowsthe why not? As long as they're producing and they're happy and it's helpingthe company grow, I think that should be considered. You know, wehave third shift people all the time. So if someone wants to work atdifferent hours of the day, I don't know. But again, I'm nota top level executive making these decisions, so I don't know what the processor the standards are. Well, I think ideas from all sorts of directionsare 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. Thankyou. Well, Megan, we could probably talk all day. I knowwe could. We kind of have already, but I want to put a wrapon this here. So any parting words or, you know, ifyou 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 manufacturingis an essential component of our economic stability and you know, back in theforties it was something that brought us all together and we are very proud ofit and I feel like there are a lot of good companies out there anda lot of good people making amazing things and we should be very proud ofit and we should help support it in any way that we can. Soif it means taking some time and going to talk to kids or students ordonating, I think we should do it because it's important and it gives ussomething to stand behind. It gives us something to be proud of. Andif you're a woman and you don't know what you want to do for therest of your life, I highly suggest looking into this sector because there areso many amazing women already within the sector that are doing amazing things and itis a great opportunity to problem solve, multi task and just me really goodmoney to live a great life. So don't be afraid of it. Don'tbe afraid that right now there aren't as many women and yeah, let's justboost those numbers up, because I'm really competitive and I just want to beatthe guys. Fair enough. I like it. Megan. Well, reallyappreciate you doing this today. This was a lot of fun and I lovethe message that I'm you're kind of broadcasting here to the world. So canyou tell our listeners where they can learn more about what you're doing and aboutmayvins of manufacturing as well? Yeah, you can check out linkedin. I'mon 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 ofyou, I hope to catch you and the next episode of the ManufacturingExecutive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. To ensure that younever 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 findan 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 nexttime.

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