Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The middle class and manufacturing jobs-- how do we pull it all together?

President Obama gave a speech in Kansas today and said the U.S. faces a "make or break moment for the middle class."
We have a suggestion for the president: What's needed to jumpstart the U.S. job creation engine is a renewed push for more manufacturing jobs.
Manufacturing jobs pay well and supports a number of related jobs throughout the overall economy. So, the key step for America as a nation is to revitalize our manufacturing base.
The president seems to recognize some of this. In his speech, he touched on the importance of innovation, and the need to prepare young America for the high-tech skills of 21st Century manufacturing:
In today’s innovation economy, we also need a world-class commitment to science, research, and the next generation of high-tech manufacturing...We should be giving people the chance to get new skills and training at community colleges, so they can learn to make wind turbines and semiconductors and high-powered batteries...if we want an economy that’s built to last, we need more of those young people in science and engineering.
The president also called for more infrastructure investment to repair our aging roads and bridges:
That’s why the over one million construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing market collapsed shouldn’t be sitting at home with nothing to do. They should be rebuilding our roads and bridges; laying down faster railroads and broadband; modernizing our schools.
The question is how to accomplish all of this. How does the U.S. compete with subsidized competition from overseas?
At a time when the cost of hiring workers in China is rising rapidly, it should mean more CEOs deciding that it’s time to bring jobs back to the United States – not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s good for the country that made their business and their personal success possible.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has repeatedly called for the adoption of a national manufacturing strategy that incorporates elements of a coherent trade policy, a revised tax code, and infrastructure investment in order to rebuild America's industrial preeminence. The time is right now if we're to act.

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