It’s that time of year again. The holidays have arrived and the even jolliest among us might be feeling the strain of the season when it comes to shopping. But when we say shopping strain or sticker shock, really what we mean is trying to maintain our budgets and make those necessary monthly payments, while finding a way to stretch our funds to include gift giving.
Sure, it’s great to think we can keep the spirit of the season all year, but thank goodness we only need extra cash for Christmas in a single shot. Sound like a familiar scenario in your household? Although sorting out finances and paying bills can feel like a lonely endeavor, you’re actually not alone when it comes to tracking down extra Christmas cash.
The team at TPI Staffing is adept at placing hard workers with unique job opportunities and has recently felt the pressure to find qualified applicants to fill openings in the manufacturing industry. Are you ready to squirrel away some extra savings this Christmas? Getting started is easy and we’ve outlined the process below to help you find the right manufacturing job in this endlessly evolving industry.
Maintaining an Edge in Manufacturing
If you work in the manufacturing industry, you know first-hand how volatile it has been, with respect to job losses and its ever-changing nature. President-Elect Trump featured bigly in the news recently for his supposed success in keeping several hundred Carrier jobs in Indiana – effectively stopping what seemed like an unstoppable job march to Mexico.
While that news naturally reads encouraging for American factory workers, the fact remains that the game has changed and many folks, from those who’ve seen their jobs move overseas, to industry experts and business insiders, predict that the tide can never effectively be redirected. In other words, the landscape of American manufacturing has changed so that even if the factories reopen or return, the jobs within will no longer be filled by flesh-and-bone workers. And the world of manufacturing is not the only area of industry affected.
Consider last week’s news from Amazon…
Calling All Amazon Shoppers…But Not Cashiers
Last week, an article published in The Seattle Times introduced Amazon’s latest endeavor. Located on the corner of Seattle’s Seventh Avenue and Blanchard Streets, the “Amazon Go” store is an actual brick-and-mortar establishment. Kind of shocking, coming from the online retailer responsible for the surge in cyber-shopping; however, the difference in this downtown shop is in its people, or more specifically, lack thereof. That’s right, “Amazon Go” has zero cashiers, and in fact, stands void of checkouts.
So, what kind of store is this anyway? Simply put, “Amazon Go” is a 1,800 square foot convenience store stocked with snacks, basic essentials, high-end goodies, and even treats provided by local bakeries. To access the store, shoppers position their smartphones against a scanner, which opens a gate, and, upon entering, they simply choose what they want and are charged upon exiting.
Unlike self-scanners at your local grocery store, there are no lines at “Amazon Go.” It’s an enticing proposition, the whole line-avoidance angle. Colin Sebastian, Baird analyst, observes, “Clearly there is a strong user case in avoiding lines and automating payments. It makes it just as convenient, if not more convenient, than online shopping in some cases.”
The convenience quotient is boosted, in part, by the immediacy of goods delivery. With online shopping, there is the associated wait, or delay, with respect to shipping. But, shopping at Amazon Go puts the products in the hands of shoppers immediately.
The entire process, which will likely turn the retail industry on its head, hinges on a collaboration of technological advances that Amazon has dubbed, “Just Walk Out.” Take a look at these shoppers who are just walking out of the Amazon Go storefront, courtesy of Amazon’s self-proclaimed “most advanced shopping technology.”
Main Street Gets a Remodel – Like it or Not
According to Tom Coughlin, president of Coughlin Associates, a data storage consulting firm, “Elements of these technologies have existed for a while. But building a store that’s based around it is a very interesting concept.”
Neil Stern, an analyst with retail consultant group McMillan Doolittle, considers Amazon Go, a real “game changer for the retail industry,” citing increasing labor costs as a contributing factor in the development of these technologies. Similar to manufacturing, the future he sees is grim for employees with a pulse: “One can envision a future of Amazon brick-and-mortar outposts: bookstores, beauty stores, drive-thru grocery stores and convenience locations all using this technology.”
But where are the jobs in that version of the future? Whatever happens to those manning the registers? If these positions become obsolete, how will those workers adjust and find their value within the American economy?
Coughlin believes the human element won’t disappear overnight because it has historically been integral to the process overall. Spoken as someone whose own job is safe, Coughlin mused, “It’ll be interesting to see how well it works not having anybody there.”
“Interesting” for non-combatants, surely, but no doubt daunting for those in the trenches of American retail.
Where Manufacturing Meets Main Street
Although Amazon views the opening of Amazon Go as an experiment, if it proves successful, it will spell real trouble for cashiers. Success in this one storefront could, if you ask The Wall Street Journal, give the green light to Amazon on another 2,000 similar stores. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 3.5 million cashiers working in the United States, making up the second-largest occupation in the country.
But, what does this have to do with manufacturing? Quite a lot, depending on your perspective. It’s clear that the latest Amazon Go endeavor is just another example of technology taking the place of human beings, rendering their performance in various industries obsolete. These technologies get the job done without requiring compensation. So, just as manufacturing jobs have all but been obliterated by automatons, so too, it seems, might those in the realm of retail.
Moreover, what’s to say that a former cashier isn’t pushed to find employment on an assembly line, assuming said line is up and running, and managed by a crew willing to train an eager newcomer?
Technology has made the already competitive job market even more so and if you want to compete in this often seemingly unfair fight, it helps to have back up. Enter TPI Staffing…
Trust TPI Staffing to Target Your Search
You’re closer to securing some extra cash this Christmas than you might think. Sure, the sci-fi strides taken by mega-corporations like Amazon are startling, but all is not lost. There are still manufacturing jobs that need your skills and TPI Staffing knows where to find them. For those job seekers living in and around the Connecticut River Valley, TPI Staffing has NH offices conveniently located in Keene, Claremont, Lebanon, as well as another in Brattleboro, VT.
Between these four locations, TPI Staffing features more than 50 unique manufacturing positions on its website. If you’re a CNC Machinist, Quality Assurance Technician, Set-Up Operator, Toolmaker, Quality Inspector, Granulator Operator, or interested in Bakery Production, it is worth your time to scroll through the complete listing of jobs advertised on the TPI Staffing site.
But, if you would rather chat with one of our expert associates, come by whichever location is nearest you or give our team a call. At TPI Staffing, we are inspired to get you hired and help you stash some extra Christmas cash.