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Identifying the Need for Trained Machinists in the Greater Tri-cities Area: A Survey of Employers to Evaluate the Future of Machining

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Pedagogy 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Mohammad Moin Uddin P.E. East Tennessee State University

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Dr. Mohammad Moin Uddin is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Surveying at East Tennessee State University. He holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor of Engineering and Engineering Technology and as a Graduate Faculty member of the Graduate Studies. Dr. Uddin is active in research and scholarship. He has been awarded grants from National Science Foundation, Tennessee Department of Transportation, DENSO and ASEE (ETD mini-grants) and several other organizations for a total of more than $2 million. His current research interest focuses on rural community engagement for transportation projects, road user cost, sustainable design and construction for knowledge based decision making, and engineering technology education. He also contributed to data analysis methods and cost effective practices of highway construction quality assurance program.Dr. Uddin is a proponent of project based learning and developed innovative teaching strategies to engage his students in solving a real-world problems and prepare them with skills and knowledge that industry requires. Dr. Uddin is a member of ASEE, ASCE, TRB and CRC. Dr. Uddin is active with ASEE engineering technology division and served as ETD program chair for CIEC in 2017 and 2018. Dr. Uddin received outstanding researcher award, outstanding service award and sustainability leadership award from his college.

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Bradley Alan Stufflestreet Northeast State Community College


Keith V. Johnson East Tennessee State University

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Dr. Johnson is Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and chair of the Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology and Surveying at East Tennessee State University. He has been active with the American Society of Engineering Education for over 25 years. During that time, he have served in several capacities, including, but not limited to program chair, author, reviewer, committee member and is a former chair of the Engineering Technology Division. In addition he was selected as and ASEE Fellow. During his tenure at ETSU, he has authored several papers, taught numerous courses, and presented at multiple professional meetings.

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Machinists are skilled tradespeople responsible for running a variety of machine tools to produce precision components for end-users or for use in other manufacturing. This project identifies the current and future change in the number of machinists in our region, especially the five-county service area of X College. We have seen a noticeable upward trend in the number of companies that contact the school looking for machining students to fill open positions at their companies. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistic information for Machinist and Tool and Die Makers (these two job titles are listed together), the job outlook is only 1% expected growth from 2016 to 2026. This leaves us wondering if there is more potential growth in our immediate area than predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or if another phenomenon is occurring. Using an industry survey, the need for machinists is identified and evaluated to understand the state of this critical job in our immediate area. The results indicate the local industry needs more machinist to keep up with current demand, as 6 out of 14 companies reported they currently have open positions. The companies reported an average of 9 open positions for the lowest skill bracket, 9 positions for mid-level machinist, and 12 for the highest skill level. This is about 9.6% of all the machinists in the survey. Positions they are struggling to find qualified candidates for may stay open for long periods of time. Furthermore, most companies are trending in a positive direction overall, but have an average 15% of their current machinists eligible to retire, reinforcing the result that companies need more machinist.

Uddin, M. M., & Stufflestreet, B. A., & Johnson, K. V. (2021, July), Identifying the Need for Trained Machinists in the Greater Tri-cities Area: A Survey of Employers to Evaluate the Future of Machining Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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