If you ever need a reason to be proud that you chose manufacturing as your career, just listen to Titan Gilroy, owner, and CEO of Titans of CNC.
“If you want to save this country, then you must fight for manufacturing,” Gilroy said in a keynote address at the Manufacturing & Technology show, an IndustryWeek event. His topic: Key to the Training Transformation: Inspiration and Perspiration.
While his own personal story is the stuff of movies, (see story here) his passion is getting this country to train its young people for the future jobs that manufacturing is going to need.
And Gilroy is not afraid to take on any system, thinking or widely-held perceptions that are standing in the way of ensuring that the U.S. returns to its manufacturing roots.
“The skill gap is a lie,” he proclaimed. “It’s a symptom of a problem and that is of awareness.” Parents, teachers, and educators are unaware of the jobs in an industry that is currently machining parts on rockets going to space. His company, for example, has worked with SpaceX to build the precision parts that require high levels of expertise. And acquiring that expertise will provide good-paying and exciting jobs.
“We are selling our children short by not teaching them the skills of the future,” said Gilroy.
To teach those skills Gilroy created the Titans of CNC Academy. It is his life’s mission to step in where the education system has gaps and provide that knowledge. He has set up academies in schools, cities, and in San Quentin. “Anyone can learn these skills and we must teach them so employees can bring them to your companies and make you competitive.”
Using three modules, CAD, CAM, and CNC he virtually trains students or anyone who wants to learn. “It’s an easy way to learn as I have created an exact process that enables users to learn how to design and create machined parts. We start with CAD and anyone can do drawings in 20 minutes. If you follow the tutorial, you will have a solid model. We teach the process.“
“The kids are capable of greatness,” Gilroy said. “They can take this trade beyond what we imagine. We need to have an open mind. We need to say you are brilliant, here is the curriculum, here is an opportunity.“
The challenge is to find these kids and that requires enlightening parents, teachers, and educators. “We need to hold our teachers accountable and insist they train our kids on a high level—the level that is needed both now and in the future.”
The country also needs to reach out to many different types of populations including veterans and those on the autistic spectrum. One of his sons, who is on the spectrum, operates extremely sophisticated machines in Gilroy’s shop. “Manufacturing saved him,” says Gilroy. “He is judged on his productivity.”
Setting up shops in prison is another path that Gilroy personally embraces to provide a second chance to those who have served their time and are now coming back to society. In the presentation, Gilroy showed a chart that demonstrated that as manufacturing jobs decreased incarceration increased. And violence is prevalent in our cities too, he pointed out. His answer was to install an academy in Chicago that can take people off the streets and instead train them for jobs.
“Instead of killing each other, we can provide meaningful work for these kids,” Gilroy explained. “Parents will line up at these buildings because they want their kids to have a future.”
We cannot underestimate the value of manufacturing to our children, our country, and our future, says Gilroy and he is doing everything in his power to make that happen.