Interesting read: I searched Google news for “machinist” and, besides the various stories about strikes or accidents one news search result that stood out were snippets of news about machinists that had retired or were retiring.
Why is this noteworthy?
Well, as a country that proposes to get back into the “making things” game, a/k/a manufacturing, the retirement of a significant number of skilled machinists in the USA isn’t a good thing. Except, that is, unless you are someone who just graduated from trade school and is entering the job market for the first time, looking for work as a skilled machinist.
Still, the loss of insight, habits and practices – the accumulated knowledge and experience of skilled tradesmen – is never a good thing for any company or industry. Granted the technology of machining may be changing, it has always been my experience that no matter the technical advancement there are certain fundamentals of a skilled trade – machining, for example, that do not change.
It’s still often (always) true that “the old man has something to teach that’s worth knowing”.