Joel Leonard: If We Are Going To Prosper, We Have To Produce!

Joel Leonard

Joel Leonard

Happy to welcome Joel Leonard to the show. Joel is a maintenance evangelist, and a workforce development consultant.

On the show, we discussed the next generation of skilled technicians; what exactly is a maintenance evangelist, and why that work is so important; how we make manufacturing appealing and exciting for people again; the skills gap we are facing; and are we in a skills crisis?

We continue with things we need to do to improve education, workforce training, and where we begin to address the problems; “What we watch is what we become;” SkillTV and it’s purpose; what can manufacturers themselves do to excite the next generation (training and internships); and “We’ve got to get students out of the classroom and into the real world to expose them to what’s possible.”

You can learn more about Joel at and the Crisis Corner blog.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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About Todd Schnick

Todd is a marketing and business strategist, writer, speaker, radio show host and producer, and distance runner. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.


  1. Thanks so much to the Manufacturing Revival Team and sponsors for promoting manufacturing performance. If we are going to compete in the global economy, the US has to invest in automation, training, and develop strategies to retain and attract high quality workers. Treating workers more than just a commodity is key in this process.

    What more do you think needs to be done?

    • Todd Schnick says:

      joel, thanks for your passion and evangelism. while there is more that can be done to spark the revival, i do think organizations have to take the bull by the horns and step up their own efforts. this can take many forms…but if we wait for someone else to do something, it will never happen…

      that’s why we want to showcase organizations doing good things on this show!

  2. Well said Joel,
    Unfortunately the role of the ‘worker’ has to evolve, the days of being paid from the neck down are over, technology is taking over e.g. in my current role there was 7 people in total, I’m the only one left, why? CAFM/SCADA has now taken over the role of the Facilities Tech’s. This type of technology should be thought in schools from a very early age so workers who do not go onto University etc. are at least literate and feel comfortable using HMI/PC screens i.e. DeltaV, WinCC, Wonderware before even entering the workforce,

  3. I’ve spent many years in manufacturing and one thing has never changed – you need to involve the workers….. they need to know that they have value and that you appreciate their expertise. You don’t need to spend lots of money – you just need to listen. They do their jobs every day – they are the “experts”. Reward your “stars”…….. for they will show you the way. It’s not rocket science….. it’s being in tune with your teammates. If you want to succeed you need to be a team – from the top down to the bottom up. It’s all about helping each other succeed.

  4. Know whats bigger than the “skills gap”? … the “Skill Trades Pay Gap”. Another ‘Gap’ come to mind when i first read the title of this post “If We Are Going To Prosper, We Have To Produce!” The gap between how manufacturing has become more and more PRODUCTIVE, yet the multi-skilled annual pay has stayed the same for over a decade. Industry needs to realize, if they want maintenance to do more, know more, pay for more education them selves… they need to pay maintenance workers more.

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