by Eric Lanke
My travels recently took me to Cincinnati and I was able to work in a few member visits along the way. One was at Sheffer Corporation, a manufacturer of hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders. Randy Logsdon was an attentive host and he gave me a complete tour of their impressive manufacturing facility.
As we talked about the current business climate, the topic turned, as it often does, to the workforce challenge many in our industry are facing. Engineers and people with technical skills are in short supply, especially those with the people and communications skills needed for success in sales. The comment afforded me the opportunity to tell my bad joke about extroverted engineers—they’re the ones that look at your shoes when they talk to you.
But seriously, Sheffer seems to be doing something new when it comes to finding and grooming engineering talent for sales positions in their company. Rather than working with degreed engineers, they’re experimenting with kids who have only one or two years of engineering or technical education. Some of them—often those with the people skills—get a few years into their education and they realize that all the math and computer time is not necessarily their cup of tea. By offering these kids sales positions, Sheffer gets the benefit of their engineering and technical know-how, while still allowing them to develop the side of themselves that gets energized by communications and customer relationships.
Seems like a win-win for both parties.
We all know that of the ways to get more fluid power-educated engineers is to increase their exposure to fluid power classes and concepts during their college careers. The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded grants to university professors to develop new curricula that can be used at their universities but, just as importantly,…
NFPA’s Fluid Power Action Challenge attracts thousands of students across the US and Canada each year. Teams of students get the opportunity to build fluid power mechanical kits using balsawood and syringes. By using the How It Works website, NFPA hopes to encourage educators and event planners to set up Fluid Power Action Challenges within their communities.
Your company is a member of NFPA, and so are you… Learn about the services and benefits available to members. NFPA offers tours of member services including: Upcoming Networking Events Fluid Power Forum IFPE 2023 NFPA Leadership Network Executive Leadership Program Industry and Market Information Workforce Initiatives Standards Development Walkthroughs are offered virtually to all…