Archive for January, 2012
The mid-20th century marked a golden age where a high school diploma in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago or Youngstown was a ticket to a manufacturing job with a living wage, first-class benefits, a house and college educations for the children.
As Thomas Friedman says in his January 25 NYT column: ”In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is over.”
From now on “the best jobs will require workers to have more and better education to make themselves about above average,” Friedman writes. Click here for the full article.
As governments continue to hack away at public education budgets, Friedman’s article highlights yet another glaring example of the disconnect between our education investment needs and our education investment practices.
It will certainly not be easy replacing the good-wage manufacturing jobs that were once accessible in the U. S. with just a high school diploma. The New York Times investigation of Apple’s iPhone offshoring practices shows that lower labor costs in China are not the main reason the U. S. lost this manufacturing work. Chinese suppliers and manufacturers are more flexible and the workers have skills not readily available here. As stated in the Silicon Valley workforce tech study – Silicon Valley in Transition – the U. S. needs a major workforce investment strategy. To read the entire New York Times story, click here.