The U.S. must strip off the rust that neglect has left on its vocational education system. But many are instead content to point fingers: at kids, for not realizing the benefits of a manufacturing career; at schools, for not focusing enough on STEM education; at pop culture, for portraying factories as desolate; or at our nation’s leaders and counselors, for suggesting that a four-year degree is the only path to success. But assigning blame won’t prepare a workforce. A strong economy is essential to attracting more to manufacturing careers. But there are other policy proposals that could support the work that community colleges, vocational high schools, labor-business partnerships, and apprenticeship programs are doing to prepare the workforce of the future. Will we follow best practices and institute them?
Create the jobs, and they will come: Given the tools needed to succeed, America’s manufacturing workforce can rebound.
Our Workers and their Skills Drive our Economy
Public policies must provide opportunities for new jobs and a system of training and skills to support them.
Creating a Skilled Manufacturing Workforce
Stacey Jarrett Wagner offers solutions for AAM in ReMaking America.