by Eric Lanke
NFPA members consistently report the development of an educated fluid power workforce as the number one strategic challenge NFPA is working on. Part of addressing that challenge is developing and growing a suite of programs that educate students in fluid power and connect them to positions in our member companies. Another part is understanding the depth of the problem those programs are designed to solve. Although NFPA now manages a variety of outreach and education programs for students across the educational spectrum, we’re frankly no closer to understanding the size of the hole we’re trying to fill.
That’s why we’ll be launching a workforce demand survey in 2016, reaching out to a statistically-significant sample of NFPA members to learn more about the kind of fluid power technical and engineering positions they need to fill, and, most importantly, gain a better insight into the number of qualified graduates that are necessary to meet the overall demand of our industry.
NFPA is partnering with the CCEFP and their evaluation provider, Quality Evaluation Designs (QED), in this project. We’re currently talking to a handful of NFPA members to help us design the survey instrument and prepare for the in-depth telephone interviews that will be needed to collect the necessary data. Our goal is to identify the broad range of job education levels and skill sets that are employed by small, medium, and large companies, and to incorporate those factors into the interview script.
Please watch for further updates in the new year. If you are interested in having your company participate in this important project, please feel free to contact Lynn Beyer at the NFPA office at 414-778-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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