A fatal weakness in American businesses, the special machine tool industry in particular, has been to staff companies in a way that provides for the perpetuation of natural passion, an essential ingredient for success. Strategic recruiting, coupled with challenging, encouraging, mentoring, and providing specialized training and education is a logical approach to solving this problem. Observing, identifying, and finding the way to challenge and accelerate the competitors among them in a way that is fair to all is important.
Most of all, it must be made clear that there is a way to the top levels and that appropriate ownership (a stake), that can be defined in various ways, is possible. The opportunities must be as good as or better than what might be available to the young people in other places, both in terms of competitors as well as in other industries. Competition applies to all aspects of business, including acquiring, shaping, and holding valuable key people, which will determine success or failure of the enterprise.
That was a lesson not learned or accepted by some of the otherwise solid special machine tool companies and they are vanishing as a result. Great opportunities and perpetuation of an important manifestation of Yankee ingenuity are going with them.
Is it possible that in the two larger companies that remain in the American special machine tool industry and with the many small companies doing business on a different scale, that a resurgence of the industry is possible? Will they learn from industry “lessons learned?”
As long as there are products to be manufactured for consumers, the need for the special machine tool industry will exist. As long as passionate and fertile minds can be attracted and rewarded to apply accelerating and exciting technological advances from supporting industries, the American industry can be revived and flourish and can provide gratifying life’s work for all involved.