We need more skilled workers Normy

When Cliff Clavin, the master of Cheers bar trivia speaks - I listen.  “Here’s a little known fact.  The smartest animal is the pig.  [Norm Interrupts: “They look pretty stupid”]  No, I’m telling you, yeah - your average oinker, scientists say if a pig had thumbs and a language it could be trained to do simple manual labor.”  Norm then asks “You mean they’d be part of the workforce?”  Cliff answers: “Yeah, they’d give you 20, 30 years of loyal service, then at the retirement dinner you could eat them.”  (Cheers, Season 1, Episode 12)

John RatzenbergerToday, actor turned spokesman John Ratzenberger is a senior fellow at Center for America, a non-profit that promotes expanding workforce skills, entrepreneurship and prosperity.  He’s actually a good pick as he was always passionate about the topic and met first hand with business owners in his Travel Channel’s Made in America series.  Ratzenberger is now heading a campaign called 10 By 20.  The campaign promotes awareness and advocates programs to better equip America’s skilled workforce.  They predict that by 2020, there will be a shortage of 10 million of them.  Even at the height of the current recession, 32% of manufacturers reported they had jobs going unfilled because they could not find workers with appropriate skills

The shortage of skilled workers threatens a cascading collapse of major segments of American industry – an “Industrial Tsunami” – in the coming six to ten years. Executives and business owners in every industry admit they don’t know how they will fill necessary positions, and say privately that their companies may have to close because the lack of trained workers.   According to a survey by Manpower Group, skilled trades workers as a group rank number one in the US as to the difficulty of filling a job due to lack of talent. 

The theory is simple.  Today’s youth are not receiving programs in skilled manufacturing, and the current workforce (where the average age of skilled workers is 55 years old) is leaving.   Download CFA’s 10by20 Campaign Resource book with lots of trivia on skilled workers here.

One statement in the 10by20 campaign material struck me -  “The American success story is built on teaching each other how to achieve. Every community can create the right combination of programs tailored to local needs without waiting for government to do it for them.”   Sort of hits home with our makerspace movement.

“Truth is, high-profile athletes and entertainers are nonessential. If all the celebrities like me disappeared overnight, it would be sad, but the world would continue with little disruption. But if plumbers, electricians, welders, carpenters, lathe operators, truck drivers and other “essentials” disappeared, our country would grind to a halt.”  (John Ratzenberger) 

Teach our next generation to aspire to the art of tinkering, manufacturing and innovation, and put the pigs on TV.


Jonathan wrote:

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:43am
Jonathan's picture

Go Cliffy!


kenny wrote:

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 10:49pm
kenny's picture

I love this concept


Mike Rowe is the man.

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Makerspaces (also known as Hackerspaces, Creative Spaces, Fab Labs, Makelabs and in California - Makerhoods), according to Wikipedia,  are open community labs where members with common interests (e.g., engineering, computer programming, inventing, graphic design, etc.) gather to share resources, knowledge, career networking and build new devices.  Generally, makerspaces are designed to meet the following needs:

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