- Although President Trump has promised to bring back well-paid manufacturing jobs to working-class communities, a high school education is no longer enough to earn a place on a factory floor, where computers and advanced diagnostics equipment dominate, the New York Times reported Monday.
- As automation has risen in importance, secondary education needs to reflect current employment needs by offering a wider variety of training options for career choices, including apprenticeships that take the place of typical school programs for technical-style work.
- Many companies as well as education experts have managed to shoehorn new training programs into Junior Colleges, allowing students (and their parents) to label their training "college" while ultimately enabling extensive technical training.
With notable talent shortages in manufacturing, new efforts to combine training with education could bridge the gap.
Though the concept of apprenticeship has fallen out of favor within American culture, resuscitating the practice along with adding some very desirable wage and tuition perks may provide both future employees and the industries that employ them with a win-win solution. Instead of viewing an apprenticeship as a step down from college, a reconsideration of what constitutes an education and a career makes more sense, not only for the student, but for the economy as well.
How technical positions and training may eventually lead to full staffing within the supply chain remains uncertain. After all, as supply chains require greater visibility, data analytics skills are becoming increasingly important. Yet without a step in the direction of rethinking the value of jobs in manufacturing, more and more valuable, challenging positions will go unfilled.