The need to enhance operational efficiency in the manufacturing industry has never been greater. While manufacturing continues in the face of ongoing supply chain disruptions, the industry is saddled with a bigger problem—the widening technical skills gap. Collectively, the Great Resignation, lack of modern machinery skillsets, retiring baby boomers and fewer younger generations seeking careers in manufacturing are all contributors.

“The skills gap is a continuous challenge facing manufacturing with no end in sight. An effectively trained workforce can fill this gap and help companies attain higher productivity, lower downtime and increased safety—an ideal recipe to meet the growing demand curve,” says Chris Bakos, Director of Recruiting & Training at Advanced Technology Services, Inc. (ATS).

Serving as a leading, technology-driven industrial maintenance and MRO services provider since 1985, ATS is committed to helping close the skills gap in the manufacturing sector.

At its core, ATS helps manufacturers operate more efficiently through increased uptime, improved asset reliability and reduced manufacturing costs. Providing solutions to manufacturers’ challenges, ATS knows how important a highly skilled and technical workforce is in keeping factories running.

Internally, ATS follows the 70-20-10 learning model that encompasses 70 percent on-the-job training (OJT) with 20 percent coaching/mentoring and 10 percent classroom training. The company’s training programs are highly customized at an individual level based on comprehensive assessments that help accurately measure each technician’s skills gap. It’s not a one-and-done learning model, but rather a continuous process that allows ATS to modify the training based on new skillsets gained and needed.

Committed to providing its technicians with career development opportunities, ATS implemented a ‘Technician Development Program’ that accelerates skillset growth and role advancement in 56 categories over a 3-year period. This helps ATS to nurture and retain the talent of highly skilled, multi-craft technicians.
As a top maintenance training organization, their SkillPoint™ Technical Training Program provides hands-on and online courses to their employees, averaging 75,000 hours of technical training across their workforce annually. The program is also offered to manufacturers interested in upskilling their internal maintenance teams. The program offers many courses to choose from with a focus on industrial maintenance, including CNCs, PLCs, hydraulics, robotics and more.

“Our SkillPoint™ training program helps technicians grow their technical and soft skills, empowering them to deliver best-in-class maintenance to our customers,” says Bakos.

The ATS training program is tailored to meet the equipment skillsets needed for each manufacturer. It begins with a 160-question assessment of each technician’s technical skills to identify the gaps and development needs. This is followed by site tours and employee interviews that add more context to issues and root causes. Then, in consultation with the manufacturer, the findings are developed into a personalized, year-long training program.
  • Our SkillPoint™ training program helps technicians grow their technical and soft skills, empowering them to deliver best-in-class maintenance to our customers

SkillPoint™ courses start as classroom-style, instructor-led training conducted by ATS trainers for the first three to four days in a progressive order. Courses are also offered via online sessions, which include guided virtual instruction and simulated real-life situations in a controlled environment. Manufacturers can track the training progress, document training records and renew the program at the end of every 12 months.

By providing industrial maintenance services to manufacturers in over 200 locations around the world, ATS has a unique insight and advantage in staying up-to-date with Industry 4.0 technologies and updating its training accordingly.

With the industry adopting more advanced technologies and data-driven systems, relying on a trusted, expert training partner like ATS can help manufacturers stay ahead of the curve.