Why Are Fabrication Jobs So Appealing?
Typically involving work with metal, fabrication is the term used to describe building machines and structures from raw materials. Fabrication processes include cutting, incinerating, welding, machining, shaping, and assembly to produce a product. Fabrication projects can consist of anything from wrought-iron railings to heavy equipment.
Most fabricators work in an industrial facility known as a fabrication shop. The fundamental purpose of establishing these shops is the centralization of fabrication operations that often must be conducted in parallel. A one-stop production shop minimizes the need to work with numerous vendors to finish projects.
During the long recovery from the last recession, fabrication has become a stronger and more vibrant industry. It is recalibrating in the face-off changing technology, while still flourishing. Recent adjustments include a changeover from focusing on a handful of large projects to concentrate on continuous sales volumes; diversifying while still adhering to many tried-and-true industry practices.
More Than Just Technical Work
At Ace Metal Crafts in Bensenville, Ill., a typical fabrication shop, company leaders are dedicated to developing leaders that are capable of maintaining the company’s practices, standards, and culture. The business has its “dual path” of skills, and leadership training is essential to being competitive in the market.
In coaching up new leaders, fabrication companies have been shedding the rigid hierarchical structure has largely dominated US-based industry for decades. Ace says leadership training helps its staff members become used to helping others and using effective communication while getting them to avoid a stringent pecking order based in self-interest. As trust among fabricators builds, communication gets stronger, and a strong sense of ownership begins to grow in the company.
A greater focus on leadership and 'career skills' also makes conversations about career development much easier. In this environment, staff members on the floor of a fabrication shop can easily see themselves as future leaders and work hard to make that vision come true.
When a business culture encourages leadership and soft skills development, staff members also like working for more their company, which can make a career that much more rewarding.
More Than a Job, a Career
Increasingly, organizations are finding career-focused discussions with those in production can result in a transparent and honest dialogue that benefits both them and the business. The result has been a shift away from a job focus and to more of a career focus. Those in fabrication are now starting to see more of the full range of possibilities within their field.
The Path Ahead
The fabrication industry increasingly balancing capacity with variation and identify new approaches to meeting the inherent variability of customer demands, which are caused by a continually changing economy. As machinery becomes more advanced, the capability to keep a consistent level of capital and profit is getting better, which is good news for those working in the industry.
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