As Manufacturing Goes Digital, Employees Become Our Biggest Advantage

The future of modern manufacturing relies on more than next-generation technologies to optimize the factory floor. Engaging and empowering the next-generation workforce is the key to undergoing a successful digital transformation, and it starts with rethinking underlying business processes and human resources (HR) policies.

The workforce is a critical part of the digital transformation, not just a beneficiary of it. Manufacturers can digitize their plants with all the technology they want, but unless business leaders consider the expectations and needs of employees—both hourly and salaried—as part of a holistic digital transformation strategy, manufacturers may find their workforce uninspired and unprepared to drive innovation and deliver the business results they expect.

It’s vital for manufacturers to understand the dual-importance of fostering a tech-friendly work environment and investing in their people resources.

Source: As Manufacturing Goes Digital, Employees Become Our Biggest Advantage

Can You Count on Social Security? |

If you ask a group of federal employees if they are counting on Social Security for their retirement, the younger the group is, the fewer the number of hands that are raised.

Maybe it’s because they’ve been spooked by the following disclaimer, which appears on every Social Security statement:

Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2034, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 79 percent of scheduled benefits.

Source: Can You Count on Social Security? – Retirement Planning – Pay & Benefits –

What Do Today’s Workers Want From Company Culture?

The number one reason workers leave a company is because of company culture, not money, said Andy Paulson, director of customer success from labor management system company TZA. At ProMat/Automate on April 11, he and TZA President Andrew Recard presented familiar data about how to attract today’s workers.

They highlighted some of the gaps between what warehousing and logistics companies are offering and what workers want, as well as giving an example of how one company reduced turnover.

Today’s workers want to be well-compensated, and they’re also determined to make sure their company culture aligns with their ethics.

Amazon raised its wages to a minimum of $15 per hour for all employees, and large-scale operations like Amazon and Tesla are making themselves competitive with their pay. Sometimes smaller companies need to pay higher in order to compete, even as the idea threatens their bottom line.

Recard pointed out that this conversation isn’t new, but is more at the forefront than before.

Millennial workers like to be rewarded, he said, but those rewards aren’t always tangible — sometimes, they’re common sense management.

Source: What Do Today’s Workers Want From Company Culture?

The Gap is in Opportunity, Not Skills | EE Times

Electronics companies often bemoan a lack of engineering skills they need, but it seems if the industry put more effort into creating opportunities for engineers to learn, the skills would be there.

There’s a common mantra in many industries about the “skills gap” and not being able to find the right skills to fill specialist vacancies. But that’s just not true. The youngsters with skills are out there – they just have an opportunity gap, which it’s up to industry to address.

We should be wary when anyone talks about skills gaps. Perhaps it is difficult to find young people motivated to learn electronics or pursue a career in engineering, but there are youngsters who have basic skills or the capacity to learn who just need to be given the opportunity.

You can’t expect a young 18-year old or 21-year old fresh out of school or university to have a ready-made package of skills for a specific job.

Source: The Gap is in Opportunity, Not Skills | EE Times

GOP senator: ‘Not a given’ all of Trump’s nominees will be confirmed | TheHill

John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday urged the White House to coordinate on nominations to avoid the “embarrassment” of the Senate rejecting one of President Trump‘s nominees, warning “it’s not a given” that all will be confirmed.

Cornyn, asked about Herman Cain’s floated nomination to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, said the “bigger issue” was that the White House needed to “consult” with Senate Republicans before making a nomination.

Source: GOP senator: ‘Not a given’ all of Trump’s nominees will be confirmed | TheHill

Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of Homeland Security, out amidst national emergency

Compounding the frequent departures of senior leadership are the existing vacancies that have yet to be filled. At this point, the Trump Cabinet has an acting chief of staff, acting Defense secretary, acting Interior secretary, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, and now an acting secretary of Homeland Security. Of these “actings,” only acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has been nominated to assume the role on a permanent basis.

In addition, many Senate-confirmed positions across the executive branch have remained vacant since inauguration. The Partnership for Public Service, which monitors federal vacancies, indicates that 140 Senate-confirmed positions have no nominee after 27 months in office.

Put differently, the White House has original vacancies on top of recent vacancies—working in the Office of Presidential Personnel must be like drinking water from a fire hose.

Source: Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of Homeland Security, out amidst national emergency

Meet the millions of young adults who are out of work

In theory, the path to employment providing financial security in adulthood is simple: finish high school, enroll in and complete college or training that is affordable and a good fit, gain some work experience along the way, and launch a career.

But given that 17 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 are out of work in mid to large cities in the U.S., totaling 2.3 million young people, this path does not appear to work equally well for all, particularly in light of the effects of the Great Recession and the declining rates of employment among teens and young adults since about 2000.

Though millions of young Americans are out of work, they are not monolithic.

Source: Meet the millions of young adults who are out of work

Record High Remittances Sent Globally in 2018

The Bank estimates that officially recorded annual remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 percent over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017.

Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.

Source: Record High Remittances Sent Globally in 2018

Are Government Robots Coming For Your Job? | Nextgov

Personally, I don’t think robots and AI will ever eliminate humans, not so much because I don’t see their potential, but because I don’t think humans are talented enough to build something both powerful and malicious enough to destroy humanity, much less something that could really become sentient, which is obviously the first requirement.

In the short term though, there is a good chance that AI and robotics might advance automation to the point where quite a few people will be put out of work.

Some researchers believe that about half of all job fields have vulnerable workers who could be replaced by AI or robotics by 2026.

The government isn’t falling behind on AI and robotics but is taking a careful approach designed to use robotics and automation to elevate humans to higher, better roles instead of eliminating them completely. At least that’s the plan.

Currently, there are 20 federal agencies that employ one of the lowest levels of robotics in the workforce, which is called robotics process automation or RPA.

Source: Are Government Robots Coming For Your Job? – Nextgov

One in Four TSA Screeners Quits Within Six Months |

The frequent turnover among TSA screeners, known as transportation security officers, has negatively impacted the security of the aviation system, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found in an audit. Staffing shortages have lowered morale, further exacerbating attrition rates.

TSA hired 9,600 screeners in fiscal 2017, outpacing the nearly 8,100 officers who left the agency. However, about one-quarter of the new hires left within the first six months of their start dates. The agency spent $16 million to hire and train those workers, part of the $75 million it spent onboarding employees overall that year.

The agency has failed to demonstrate opportunities for employees to move from entry-level to higher-earning positions, the IG said, a problem employees identified as the top reason for moving on from their jobs.

Source: One in Four TSA Screeners Quits Within Six Months – Pay & Benefits –