153: Inspiring Champions in Advanced Manufacturing with Terry Iverson

Why don’t more young people want to get into manufacturing? 

This week’s Manufacturing Happy Hour guest, Terry Iverson, President & CEO of Iverson & Company, is the author of two fantastic books on the subject. His latest one, Inspiring Champions in Advanced Manufacturing, aims to encourage both students and their parents to give manufacturing a shot. 

We had a great in-person conversation at The Vanguard in Milwaukee to talk about his mission to elevate manufacturing as a career path and to encourage more people into the industry. Terry explains why he thinks manufacturing leaders could be doing more to reach out to young people and bridge the awareness gap.  

While the U.S. manufacturing industry is getting better, we still have a long way to go to finding the next generation of manufacturers. Terry shares some stats on college education and why he believes a European-style rethink on apprenticeships is long overdue.  


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. With just 20% of college graduates using their degrees as part of their profession, could an alternate path be a better fit? Terry believes that college isn’t for everyone, and learning the trades and manufacturing is perfect for some.  
  2. The industry could learn a thing or two about the apprenticeship culture in Europe. It’s coming back to the U.S. But there’s still a long way to go.
  3. Manufacturing leaders could do more to encourage young people into the industry – such as attending Manufacturing Days, going into schools to talk more about it, and even reaching out to parents to help them understand why it’s a great career path. 

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “We need the industry and education on the same page. Just like I’m trying to do with the book. I’m trying to connect parents and the child to have conversations more like they do in Europe when they’re 14-15 years old about all the different things you could do in manufacturing.”
  • “Parents need to be more informed and more focused on what every given child shines in or is passionate about or has the natural ability to do.”
  • “How many times have you heard a parent say, “I’d give them a toy and they’d have it all apart and then try to put it back together.” That’s an engineer or a manufacturer in the making.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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EPLAN provides software and service solutions in the fields of electrical engineering, automation, and mechatronics engineering. They’ve developed one of the world’s leading design software solutions for machine, plant, and panel builders, providing data-driven panel design capabilities to manufacturers. Click here to listen to our full interview with EPLAN’s International Solutions Architect Sean Mulherrin. 

What We Discuss with Terry

  • Why Terry decided to write a second book  
  • What Terry learned from growing up in a manufacturing family 
  • Why his mission to get the word out about manufacturing has evolved 
  • How the apprenticeship culture is different in Europe 
  • Why there needs to be more engagement between schools and the trades 
  • Why the “learn and earn” route is a great alternative to college 
  • How children’s “maker spaces” work 
  • Why the industry still has a long way to go to appeal to younger people 
  • How we can get the industry and education system on the same page 
  • What the statistics say about reshoring and workforce needs 

Recommended Resources

Connect with Terry