Manufacturing Jobs – Yes We Need Them, But This Next Generation Doesn’t Want to Work

Four years ago, I was doing some consulting for a small business who could not find quality workers to work in his company. The unemployment rate was so low, that there were not many good workers left. Whenever he put a “help wanted” sign out front of his business he was underwhelmed by those folks who would come in and ask for an application. It’s as if they didn’t really want a job, or really want to work at all.
In fact, right now we see much of the same thing. Folks would rather play on their iPad or iPhone all day long in the office, rather than getting any work done. And this brings up another point. What if someone is working in a factory, and they are in charge of things coming across the assembly line? Obviously they can’t be using their personal tech devices while working around or operating machinery and equipment.
I know there’s been a lot of talk about the weak US dollar strategy to promote manufacturing jobs in the United States. The theory goes something like this; if we keep the US dollar low we can produce products cheaper How Long Has The Tech Industry Been Around on the global market giving us the competitive advantage in international trade. Yes, I understand that concept because I watch how China is manipulating its own currency so they can have a continuous advantage.
But even if we grow the manufacturing jobs that United States, will any of these kids really want to work in the factories? No, I don’t think they will, they would Industrial Engineering Masters rather go home and play video games, or text their friends, and play on their Facebook page than actually do work in a legitimate factory and a real job.
There was an interesting article recently in Industry Week posted on June 8, 2011 titled; “A Stimulus Plan to Encourage U.S. Manufacturing” by By Niko Michas, CEO, and Mikael Trapper, managing partner, BridgeNet Solutions, Inc. which laid out an exciting manufacturing revitalization strategy; “Each state should take a portion of its federal stimulus money and allot it towards specific tax incentives that will enable U.S.-based companies to convert to U.S.-based manufacturers.”
Although I am not one who is much into stimulus of this type, as I see a core problem with over-regulation, over-lawyering, and litigation, and corporate taxation issues, I still do believe the plan could indeed work. But then again I reminded of the problem with the up-and-coming generation that doesn’t really want to work all that hard. And if we produce all these jobs who will fill them, who is willing to work in a factory? Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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