There is a great deal of buzz these days around the shortage of skilled workers for our manufacturing operations. Almost as much as there is concern about professional sports teams finding that “missing piece” they need to finally win that championship. The professionals spend millions of dollars evaluating talent. Families spend incredible amounts of time trying to mold their children into athletes good enough to merit scholarships and the riches the professional career provides. On an academic level, parents urge that extra effort needed to get into the right college and then the best graduate program. As if you have failed as a family because your child did not graduate from medical school or law school. Despite all this, only a tiny percentage of youngsters go on to professional careers inside or outside of sports. Are 99.9% of people failures because they never got to the peak of a particular field of endeavor? Are people who actually get to play professionally, but not at a hall of fame level, failures? Of course not! So why do we waste so much effort trying to turn everyone into a superstar? Stop expecting to find perfect job candidates and figure out ways to build a team with the “talent” available to you. There are not a lot of experienced gear engineers, computer programmers, or CNC machinists wandering around looking for work. And the “good” people who already have those credentials did not just wake up one morning fully prepared to do such demanding work. In the past decade, AGMA has certainly stepped up its educational program. Other organizations have as well. Here at Gear Technology, we have been educating gear guys and gear gals for over thirty years. Yet this perceived “shortage” persists. There are lots of reasons why, and unless we talk about them, we will never get the situation corrected.