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Posted: 9/6/2010 6:02:46 PM EDT

We Need More Skilled Workers


by John Ratzenberger

When America gave up its position as the producer-in-chief and became the consumer-in-chief, "essential skilled workers” became dirty words in our lexicon.

The cultural shift is fast producing an "industrial tsunami” that threatens our economy and way of life. Ironically enough, we’re facing a crisis shortage of skilled workers at a time of dramatically high unemployment.

We must re-connect this disconnect or face the consequences. America works when Americans are working.



According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25 percent of the working population will reach retirement age by 2012, resulting in a potential shortage of nearly 10 million skilled workers. This heightens the price our nation is paying for dismantling so many in-school vocational training programs during the past few decades.

The current shortage already sharply reduces the growth of U.S. gross domestic product, contributing to our overall economic problem. America’s infrastructure is falling apart before our eyes. Municipal water and sewer systems are failing, and more bridges are unsafe to cross. Yet the nationwide shortfall of more than 500,000 welders is causing already-funded repair projects to be canceled or delayed.

Essential skilled workers are heroes. Without them, America grinds to a halt. But there are national security implications to this skilled worker gap, too. The ongoing demand for U.S.-manufactured military parts and hardware — from boots to mother boards — require domestic manufacturing operations. Even now, critical manufacturing has been moved off-shore as a stop-gap measure.

We simply can’t "outsource” our national defense!

Along with Emmy Award-winning producer Craig Haffner and the Foundation for Fair Civil Justice, I am currently in pre-production with a new documentary, "Industrial Tsunami,” whose purpose is to wake up Americans to the shortage of skilled workers that threatens the existence of companies and entire industries.

We must develop short- and long-range solutions to this crisis, starting with expanding vocational training opportunities and restoring dignity and pride in America’s skilled workers.

We will explore the negative media images of skilled workers, as well as current initiatives at the national and local levels to address this crisis.

Equally important, we will promote the concept that essential skilled work is noble, is useful and creates the independent mindset and self-confidence in the individual that has resonated throughout our nation’s history — and can rebuild America with a solid foundation once again.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:04:45 PM EDT
Perfect companion:

WELL worth your 20 minutes if you haven't seen it before

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:05:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:06:06 PM EDT
I like John Ratzenberger. He seems like a genuinely funny and interesting guy.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:08:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 6:10:52 PM EDT by DnPRK]
We need .gov to stop driving manufacturing businesses away with excessive regulations, taxes, fees and mandates. A "service economy" doesn't work without a manufacturing base to service. Manufacturing creates wealth by building things of value. Service industry simply takes money out of one pocket and puts it into another pocket.

All the lawyers in Washington DC, with their briefcases full of legal papers, will not create one single dime of new wealth.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:08:46 PM EDT
I've seen his "Made in America" TV show–– neat viewing....
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:11:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DnPRK:
We need .gov to stop driving manufacturing businesses away with excessive regulations, taxes, fees and mandates. A "service economy" doesn't work without a manufacturing base to service. Manufacturing creates wealth by building things of value. Service industry simply takes money out of one pocket and puts it into another pocket.


This is the reality big .gov IS the problem.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:30:52 PM EDT
From what I know about construction, it's getting harder and harder to conform to county regulation and code. A process to get a permit to build a deck has become much more difficult in the past two years. My county now requires a soil test to determine footing size and construction. Every year they add code on top of an already bloated and mostly unnecessary code book. If I sat and typed out the process to obtain a permit to construct just a deck you would be amazed at how anyone could be competitive at doing them. As far as qualified labor goes, when the illegal aliens started invading, a lot of people dropped out of construction because, they couldn't remain competitive.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:58:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Perfect companion:

WELL worth your 20 minutes if you haven't seen it before



i liked it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:01:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GrIlLa:
From what I know about construction, it's getting harder and harder to conform to county regulation and code. A process to get a permit to build a deck has become much more difficult in the past two years. My county now requires a soil test to determine footing size and construction. Every year they add code on top of an already bloated and mostly unnecessary code book. If I sat and typed out the process to obtain a permit to construct just a deck you would be amazed at how anyone could be competitive at doing them. As far as qualified labor goes, when the illegal aliens started invading, a lot of people dropped out of construction because, they couldn't remain competitive.

How much of that regulation do you think is tied to bunk lawsuits and how much is it the county trying to $$$$ in?
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:02:21 PM EDT
IBD_A calls you all Luddites and recommends we outsource all manufacturing to china
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:12:04 PM EDT
Shit! I misread the title, I thought it said "We need more Skinwalkers........."
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