I’ve been hiring long enough to know that the world is full of people whose skills would be valuable in the powder booth…if only they knew that powder coating existed.
But they don’t.
The more I think about the hordes of mechanically-inclined folks graduating from trade schools with two-year degrees in something related to fabrication, who want to work with their hands, who are seeking stable jobs with competitive income, and who’ve never heard of opportunities in the finishing industry, the sadder I get.
Where there is metal, there will be pretreatment. And probably coating. And, eventually, blasting. The finishing industry is vast, and it’s hungry for talent. So why aren’t more accredited institutions talking about it?
I’d been in the powder coating business for years before I ever took my first official powder coating class. It’s not that they don’t exist (they do), it’s just that they aren’t mainstream. In order to find them, you must first know what powder coating is.
That strikes me as a bit of a problem.
For the record, I’m a strong proponent of a DIY education. I learned how to powder coat through a combination of trying, failing, YouTube videos, and conversations with chemical experts. Anyone can do it if they really want to.
As a hiring manager, however, I’m realizing there’s a pressing need for the finishing industry to market itself more effectively through education. It’s high time we go find and train our candidates, rather than waiting for them to come to us.
I’m sure I’m not the only employer who would pay top dollar to hire an expert powder coater to start right away. Imagine how much more smoothly the production schedule would run if your local community college had a pool of trained coaters available at all times.
Not that powder coating expertise is even necessary – if you’re certified in a trade, or have completed a two-year degree in something that requires you to be spatially competent and/or good with your hands, the truth is that you probably already have a lot of skills that would transfer quite nicely into the finishing industry. Please contact me; I’d love to talk to you.