What Happened to Skilled Fabricators

Just recently, the New York Times came out with an article about how there’s so many job openings available in the U.S., specifically in the manufacturing world, and yet the unemployment rate is still soaring. This article touched home for us because here at VIP, we can relate! We have been in the metal fabrication business for over 56 years! Long ago, many people worked in factories and most jobs were skilled labor. Now that manufacturing has gone overseas and people are now going after the higher educated jobs, labor jobs have slowly diminished. Due to this movement of employment trends, schools and universities have also adapted. In other words, they no longer educate on things like welding, metal work, and other fabrication type skills.

As a result of this trend in the manufacturing world, many unemployed will seek jobs at many manufacturers, and yet they still cannot get a job. Why? Because the schools and universities stopped teaching these skills and so people do not have the general knowledge that is required. The U.S. is in a horrible dilemma that will take time and effort to turn around.

In order to keep manufacturing and jobs here in the U.S. we need skilled labor and educated workers who have experience. Without the support from schools and educational institutions to broaden their scope to fulfill this need, many of these companies will diminish. If these businesses close, it will only increase the unemployment rate, and there will be less money to be made here is the U.S. Essentially, it’s a major snowball effect! The NYT article mentioned, “Many community colleges and universities simply can’t keep pace and teach to the new skill requirements, especially with their budgets being cut. We need a new “Race to the Top” that will hugely incentivize businesses to embed workers in universities to teach — and universities to embed professors inside businesses to learn — so we get a much better match between schooling and the job markets.”

It will definitely be interesting to see the movement in the job market over the next couple of years. Whether there will be a shift in the education system that will nourish the U.S. manufacturing world which would retain and create jobs and ensure the stability of the economy.

As Tony Wagner of Harvard said, “The world no longer cares about what you know; the world only cares about what you can do with what you know.”

On a side note, it is Thanksgiving tomorrow! We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!



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