Snap-on, a publicly traded designer and manufacturer of tools, equipment and systems solutions, was founded in 1920. Since then, the Kenosha, Wisc., company has survived the Great Depression, the Great Recession and an ongoing labor gap in the mechanical trades that has hounded other firms. So how has the S&P 500 company — with an estimated worth of more than $2.5 billion — managed when others are struggling to fill key technical positions? Does Frederick Brookhouse, Snap-on’s business and education partnership manager, even still believe there is a labor shortage?

“Yes,” Brookhouse says, adding that “this is not a new thing. I’ve been in these conversations for 30 years. … It’s really been driven by a very rapid growth of technology, which is not slowing down, if anything it’s increasing.” Technical education, he says, is not keeping pace.

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