THE AMERICAN MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE

THE AMERICAN MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE

Chinks in the Armor

In Los Angeles schools alone, a whopping 90% of shop classes have been wiped away from existence. Imagine if the district’s 660,000 students were still to have access to what are now becoming in-demand skills. This issue is exemplified in the technical trades such as welding and manufacturing, and the growing skills gap is an unfortunate trend seen not only in Southern California, but across the entire country.

A Degree but no American Dream

It is particularly noteworthy that almost half of all college graduates are not working in the kinds of careers for which they received their degrees. Often these people are working in the types of jobs that don’t require four-year degrees. Meanwhile, there aren’t nearly enough trained machinists or welders.

There are many unemployed college graduates facing mountains of school debt with no viable way of paying it back. There is nothing wrong with being a barista or a retail worker, but college degree holders who are in these positions are hardly going to soon attain the dream of home ownership or the goal of ultimately raising a family of their own.

Many in this kind of a predicament might have been far happier with a two-year trade or technical school education providing the training and skills necessary to obtain a well-paying, dependable and long-lasting job. Welders, machinists, and other technical positions are usually good paying and steady jobs that could be appropriate and effective for young people.

Time to Rally

Companies like CAB Incorporated, a leading manufacturer of carbon and stainless steel pipe flanges, often find themselves scrambling to seek qualified labor to fill empty positions. The truth of being a welder or a machinist these days is that old stereotypes no longer apply. These jobs are often quite hi-tech, and the compensation is substantial. Living the American Dream is tantalizingly in reach as a skilled, well-trained welder or machinist. It’s time we got back to encouraging and honoring skilled labor. Let’s not forget that it was people such as these who built America.