Retired packaging engineer and OMAC leader, Keith Campbell, has returned from his sailing vacation to post a couple of comments about packaging.

First, he predicts that good times are ahead for packaging machinery. Why, especially in this still stagnant economy? “Because the only way to increase earnings on weak sales is through gains in productivity.”

Then he notes that the bar for entry level workers in manufacturing continues to be raised. He received a call asking if he knew where to find graduating students from a mechatronics education program to fill entry level operator positions.

Yes, Keith is right, there. The era of unskilled people earning middle-class incomes (if such a thing exists in today’s America) in manufacturing is long over. If you’re unskilled, you can find some jobs in manufacturing. But the pay will be just above minimum wage–and you’ll probably be a temporary worker. Manufacturing jobs that pay a reasonable wage will require education, training and skills.

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