Premium Associate Member Spotlight: 180 Skills

This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Talk to any manufacturer and they’ll tell you the same fact — there’s no manufacturing industry without skilled talent. Whether it is craftsmen on the shop floor or tech-minded talent operating some of the world’s most complex machines, the success of a business relies on manufacturing’s ability to hire the right people with the right skills.

With time as a finite resource and efficiency essential to staying competitive, organizations like 180 Skills can provide a viable solution for manufacturers looking to create, grow and retain their talent.

“In today’s globally competitive economy, there’s no time allocated for talent training — manufacturers have to do what they can when they can and it often comes at the expense of production,” said Joe Kitterman, CEO and founder of 180 Skills and and an experienced former manufacturer. “Our primary mission today is to help employers get back the ability to teach and be able to create their own skilled worker out of anyone who shows up at their door.”

Talent solutions come in many forms and for businesses seeking an online solution, 180 Skills is comprised of experienced professionals from manufacturing and education who understand the stress an unskilled workforce can place on a business and the intricate web of training needed to help students master complex concepts, processes and equipment. By providing manufacturers and workforce professionals with access to over 700 unique, interactive, competency-based online skills courses, training next generation talent can move out of the classroom and work within an employer’s tight schedule.

“With the pressures of cost and productivity, traditional education options aren’t always possible, but the resources we offer with online training can result in core competencies being met and in up to 30 percent less time than classroom learning,” explained Kitterman. “Your talent gets to progress at their own pace, utilize very focused content and it limits production interruptions.”

Manufacturers are in constant competition for the best and brightest — delaying the talent search is no longer an option. Industry leaders unsure of where their next generation pool of talent is coming from need to look at unconventional methods. 180 Skills and other talent-focused organizations allow employers to control their own workforce destiny.

“Small manufacturers trying to compete with large corporations can’t afford to lose key staff because of an inability to up-skill them,” Kitterman said. “Whether it’s due to a lack of time or resources, turnover can be the death of a business — cost-effective training options let employers build up their workforce while maintaining loyalty from their team because you showed confidence in them.”

There’s no one-fit solution to talent — many options exist. If the traditional path to training and retaining talent hasn’t worked, other routes are out there to take you to the same goal and they often come with unanticipated benefits.

“My career successes have always come from those people who worked hard and gave their heart and soul to the business,” recalled Kitterman. “When you can help your workforce advance despite a lack of resources, it elevates the whole business. That’s what we’re here to achieve.”

Learn more in this video in which Kitterman talks about starting 180 Skills to allow people to acquire the skills they need to pursue rewarding career opportunities.

Premium Associate Member180 Skills is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been an MMA member company since November 2017. Visit online: