Since the thread is derailled
I sell CNC (computer controlled) machine tools (metal working machines) for a national distributor for my job and see much of this first hand.
Just a little commentary: Low skill manufacturing is gone and likely never returning. (think ‘your grandpas machine shop’ with a bunch of guys making widgets standing at a line of machines). That work is not practical to do in a first would nation because of our cost disadvantage. large OEM’s simply wont pay what it would cost to make walmart merchandise at home.
However, High skill manufacturing is here to stay for the foreseeable future. We are growing our business and market share rather well, but its not with low value manufacturers. We sell a lot of machine to the medical, electronics, firearms, and OEM markets. Although some customers still make ‘legacy’ simple parts, they can increase their production with modern machinery to offset the cost of capital investments and overseas competition.
The more typical application for our machines is complex, tight tolerance work, or parts for regulated industries (meaning there are special certifications for Medical, Defense, Nuclear, and Aerospace parts that would be nearly impossible to comply with if manufactured outside a first world country).
So we will likely never see the return of low skill manufacturing jobs. You can pay someone in asia 1/10th an american. At least a 6 month certificate and Ideally a 2 year associate degree is now necessary to succeed in manufacturing. However, if you’re smart and work hard, you can advance very quickly because there is a lack of skilled labor. Also, baby boomers are retiring from the manufacturing work force in droves, leaving a lot of higher level open positions. Finding qualified workers is our clients #1 challenge. If you can show a trade school diploma and pass a drug test, you can walk into $20/hr+ right out of school. If you’re smart, personable, and aggressive with your career goals, you can get to middle management in a few years.
So there are tons opportunities in manufacturing, they’re just not the same blue collar, low skill, no schooling needed opportunities of the past. People just need to recognize that manufacturing in the 21st century is different than it was for our parents and grand parents.
Since the thread is derailled
And it’s wicked local, money stays at home, instead of profits going to Inbev.
let’s be honest about the auto industry
What killed the american auto industry:
Poor management and abysmally tone-deaf product development
Unsustainable salaries and pensions to union members
We knew years and years ago that the wages and pensions were unsustainable. While they were not, they helped feed an inflated middle class that also served as excellent consumers - these people put it back into the economy.
It’s going to be nearly impossible to get that back.
Prefer My Wing Paddles Direct From Hilo
For some reason or other, that was derailed. Do hope things get back on track before I need new lockers?
lots of manufacturing in Michigan
I worked in Michigan for 8 years (running an electrical service department that served many industries.) Besides the craft breweries, here are “blue collar” and manufacturing jobs in Michigan, in office furniture (Steelcase and Herman Miller being two major players with domestic production), machine shops that do tool and die work (just the Grand Rapids area had 250 of them), food processing and pharmaceuticals. The public schools have training programs tailored to local industries that help move young people into valuable careers. Many legal Hispanic immigrants who moved to the area originally for agricultural work have discovered that if they develop their English skills and are willing to work second and third shifts (which many locals are not) they can get good paying jobs with benefits that enable them to buy homes and join the middle class. While I was living there, during the Clinton era, there was a massive shortage of skilled labor there. In fact I was recruited from another state because they could not fill the job locally. And at one point our region was short over 3,000 workers in the building trades. Projects were cancelled or put on hold because we could not find workers for jobs that paid $20 or more an hour. And these trends continue in many industries.
Pertinent to the comments from the poster who sells CNC equipment, the contractors I worked for sponsored training for our employees to develop skills in programmable controllers, machine language and CADD. One frustrating aspect of those efforts was that many of the employees we would have liked to advance had blown off critical skills like math and science when in high school – we get a FREE public education in this country (which is something people in many parts of the world have to PAY for) and too many people waste that opportunity to place themselves in a better position due to basic education. It was pathetic that we had to set up remedial math classes for adults who could not read the fractions on a tape measure, calculate angles for bending conduit or had even rudimentary keyboard skills. This is NOT the fault of the schools, but the fault of students and of parents who fail to hold their children accountable for their homework and grades.
You know what? A century ago we moved from a horse-drawn economy to one based on motor vehicles. Did the displaced blacksmiths, horse breeders and hostlers all demand a return to that earlier era? No, they went on to learn new skills and adapt themselves to the new world. The days when a white male high-school dropout could count on his uncle or cousin getting him into a union-protected low-skill job where he could get away with slacking off on a feather-bedded crew with guaranteed overtime are long gone. And this class of previously privileged workers need to accept that reality and move on like the rest of us have.
Other Message Boards
Aren’t there other internet forums and message boards for political discourse?
Personally I come here for info about paddling.
well gee, then go
read a different post, idjit.
currency manipulation by japan for decades and japans home market is closed.
Somehow the CEO rakes in more and more and more and more and more…
Take it to Bicker and Banter.
The largest market for car sales is here, not japan. Yes, japan manipulated the trade balance and manipulated currency. But the big three continued to overpay workers and make some really poor product and corporate decisions. Blaming the whole thing on an outside influence is an excuse that will just get us back to that point before long.
I had the same thought. But people can’t control themselves. That’s always been the humorous irony of b&b as a means to separate behavior.
the problem is
…americans want “cheap and convenient”.
That was a good post
Over-simplification of the changes in our manufacturing base drive me nuts, but it seems an awful lot of potential voters just gobble that stuff up.
Epic makes paddles in China
Epic makes great paddles in China!