One of the “freshly pressed” sites I found was a blog by John Briggs, whose focus is on bringing jobs back to the U.S. through manufacturing. According to his blog, more than six million manufacturing jobs have left the country over the past three decades. He is currently exploring the topic by writing a book called Simply America, Putting our Extended American Family Back to Work.
In the particular post I read, titled America’s biggest missed opportunity?, he indicates that despite the high unemployment rates in our country, American manufacturers are having trouble finding workers. Many jobs have been added in the industry over the past few years, and they’re even well paid. The problem, he states, is that many lack the proper skills for these jobs.
Essentially, his theory on this is that young Americans believe they have to attend a four-year college and receive a bachelor’s degree in order to make money and get a job later on. He maintains that there are other ways to become well-educated and well-trained for a job, including hitting up the public library and attending community college. There, one can receive training for jobs like manufacturing.
As a student of a liberal arts college, I felt a little saddened by this view. I agree that manufacturing jobs are a good route for some to consider and that it’s an important industry for our economy. However, I also feel strongly about the value of higher education and creating a well-educated workforce of creative, well-rounded thinkers for the future. It’s one way that our country can remain competitive with other nations.