Reskilling helps Stanley future-proof its factories

Committed to forging 10 million ‘makers’ by 2030, Stanley Black & Decker is training up factory workers to work with robotics, AI, IoT and AR. Here’s how the power tools manufacturer is doing it.

Reskilling helps Stanley future-proof its factories
Stanley

Industrial manufacturers are training up their employees to work with machines controlled by sensors and software, a necessity in a sector disrupted by automation. As CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, Jim Loree is leading the reskilling revolution, which he views as critical for growth at the $14 billion maker of Black & Decker and Craftsman power tools.

"A growth mindset shift is required to enable the organization to constantly work on upskilling," says Pradheepa Raman, chief talent innovation officer for the 175-year-old enterprise. The talent vacuum is real for Stanley and its industrial peers and competitors. With a skills deficit leaving millions of manufacturing jobs open worldwide, Raman says that Stanley is committed to training 10 million “makers” — Stanley’s code for factory workers — by 2030.

Under Loree’s leadership, Stanley has created a learning framework and roadmaps to educate everyone from managers to rank-and-file employees on best practices over the next five years, says Raman, one of several executives tasked with upskilling 60,000 employees. Managers, for example, learn how to better collaborate with their teams, while machine engineers and operators learn how to work alongside automated machines. The framework includes digital content from several sources.

With reskilling a growing concern, CIOs are taking more active roles in workforce composition, skills-based learning and employee development to bring staff up to speed in modern technologies and processes, according to Forrester Research’s CIO predictions report for 2020. Some companies have begun upskilling in earnest. FedEx has created Cloud Dojo to teach engineers how to build software to run hybrid clouds. Credit card processor TSYS is training engineers accustomed to working with mainframes how to work with cloud software and develop applications in rapid sprints.

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