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the transformation of american factory jobs, in one company

by:QY Precision      2019-09-12
This is the second of two games. part series.
The first part is here.
For more information, please see the cover story of The Atlantic monthly issue of the Central Asian Dang Davidson this month.
Larry Sears is the CEO of Standard car products, just like his previous father and grandfather.
The company manufactures replacement parts for car engines.
Larry, who grew up in the company, has seen changes in the workforce over the years.
Many of his workers did not have a high school degree decades ago.
Some don\'t understand.
\"We have a factory in Connecticut and we don\'t realize that, but they are illiterate,\" he said . \".
\"When we move to the next generation, we have to be able to read the instructions.
To our surprise, they can\'t do it.
\"But in today\'s factory, workers have to know not only how to read.
\"We have a microscope, a heat rack, a card gauge, an ID gauge,\" said standard employee Ralph Young . \".
\"We use a drill microphone, go-no-go plugs.
\"Young is the perfect example of new factory workers.
He has extensive knowledge of metal, microscope, gauge and plug.
He works in the team that makes the nozzle, which requires precise engineering techniques.
The core of the assembly process is an automated machine run by a computer process called CNC.
\"When I came here 20 years ago, we didn\'t have a CNC device,\" he said . \".
\"It\'s more about the fixing of the hammer and screwdriver, and now everything is clever.
\"Everything is skill now\" may be the motto of American manufacturing today.
Manufacturing is getting higher and higher in factories all over the country. tech, high-
Precision business.
Not everyone has the skills to operate a CNC machine.
I can read, I took some computer classes and got a bachelor\'s degree in literature.
But when I asked Ralph\'s boss, Tony skalzti, if he would hire me and train me at work, his answer surprised me. \"No,\" he said.
\"The risk of keeping you up with the speed of training is a risk I\'m not willing to take.
\"To be Ralph, I have to learn the computer language of the machine.
I have to learn the strength of various metals and their resistance to various blades.
One more thing I don\'t believe I can do: the ability to paint dozens of moving parts in my mind.
Half of the people Tony has trained over the years have never had this skill.
If you don\'t have this skill, an error on this machine can be catastrophic.
All the work done here takes place at micron level.
1 micron is 4-hundred-
A few parts per inch
Human hair, for example, is 70 microns thick.
Here you can\'t leave alone
Thickness of hair. \"A 7-or 8-
\"The micron error adjustment on this machine costs $25,000,\" Young said . \".
\"We could lose $25,000 in two seconds.
\"That\'s why I\'m not hiring you,\" Scalzitti said . \".
\"It\'s not all Ralphs that work here.
Madeline \"Maddie\" is more like an old-school worker.
She did have a high school diploma but did not continue her education.
She works on a simple machine that seals the lid of the fuel injector on the body.
All she did was insert the two parts and press a button.
It does not require discretion or judgment.
There is only one way to run it: the right way.
\"It\'s done for you,\" Maddie said . \".
\"All you do is put the part in, put the clip down, and push your finger away.
\"There\'s a lot of things Ralph knows, and Maddie wants her to know.
She wants to know how many microns are thick in different parts.
She wants to know the computer language used on the machine she runs.
She wants to know everything that makes Ralph\'s job prospects brighter than her own.
Until she knew these things, her future was far less certain.
I learned Maddie to have a job because of some simple math.
A machine can easily replace her.
Robot arm can put parts in and take out
But it will cost about $100,000.
Maddie makes a lot less money than that, and at the moment, math is good for her.
But if the price of robot arms drops, or a factory in China learns how to make this part at a lower price, Maddie\'s job is at risk.
Simple calculations like this have cost about 5 million factory workers over the past decade.
But simply because the calculations are simple does not mean that the decision to lay off employees is easy. \"It\'s gut-
Larry Sills, CEO, said.
\"We are not big companies on Wall Street.
We are a family business.
We are very loyal to our people and we think they feel the same way.
So it\'s cruel.
\"If the decision was so cruel, why would he do it?
Why not keep those workers working?
\"We did not make this decision,\" he said . \"
\"When consumers walked into Wal-Mart, the decision was made --
There are two kinds of products on the shelves, one is made in this country and the other is made in China.
Made in China is 50% cheaper than here. they chose Made in China.
\"That\'s why electric relays or air are outsourced to Standard Motor Products-
Supply low power air conditioning compressor to factorywage countries.
Maddie knows it all.
She knew she was not living in the old days.
She worries about technology or low
She can replace the wage workers outside her country.
She knew that she might not have such a good job unless she knew something Ralph knew.
She wants to go back to school, but she is a single mother with two children.
\"I have to go back to my time and I don\'t have time,\" she said . \".
\"After work, I went to pick up my children. that\'s it.
My life revolves around my children.
\"In the past, Maddie learned a lot at work.
That\'s what Ralph did.
He doesn\'t have to choose between paying his bills and having a future.
But now, the gap between proficiency and unskilled is so big that the only way to achieve this leap is often to leave the job and get some education.
For many Americans, this is not economically feasible.
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