The Carrier plant in Indianapolis is keeping roughly 1000 jobs it was planning to send to Mexico. President-elect Trump played a direct role in reversing Carrier’s decision.
Is this a win? Of course, it is a win for those directly impacted.
However, here is where we are losing. According to the US Dept. of Labor, there are on average more than 350,000 open manufacturing jobs PER MONTH in the US. Yes, do read that again. 350,000 per month! That’s up from approximately 122,000 in 2009.
So what is the problem? The problem isn’t that there aren’t any jobs. The problem is that there aren’t enough relevant training programs to produce qualified workers.
A high school diploma with no additional training is no longer adequate to operate and maintain million-dollar equipment. Nearly all manufacturing plants have had to upgrade to computerized machines to compete. If the local workforce was under educated, new plants relocated where there was skilled labor.
So who is to blame for the lack of training beyond high school? Well, everyone. President Obama (D) has the Dept. of Education’s $74 billion in his arsenal. Indiana politicians are to blame – Governor Pence (R), Senators Joe Donnelly (D) and Dan Coates (R), and representatives Jackie Walorski (R), Marlin Stutzman (R), Luke Messer (R) are guilty. Indiana’s 2nd , 3rd , and 6th congressional districts have 3 of the top 10 highest percentages of citizens employed in manufacturing. High schools and junior colleges are to blame for a lack of programs and courses. Manufacturers are to blame for deficient training programs, and lastly individuals and unions bear the blame for not seeking and demanding continued education.
No doubt we have work to do to win here.