We talked to experts, workers and the unemployed to get a deeper look into the future of the skilled labor workforce and its impact on the economy and job creation.
There's no doubt blue-collar jobs have changed through the decades, and with more advances as the 21st century continues, tomorrow's workplace is bound to look different as well. Here are four things modern workers need to realize:
For millions of workers, skilled trades -- and the wages they provide -- are the key to achieving the American dream. Economic factors, such as higher fuel and shipping costs, is resulting in more companies considering reviving manufacturing operations in the U.S., rather than run the risks of importing from China.
Is it hypocritical for political candidates running on a platform of job creation to wear shirts sewn in Vietnam? Is it wrong that although U.S. military uniforms must legally be manufactured inside our borders, much of the merchandise sold at a U.S. Army PX Superstore, says Rudick, is made a few latitudes south or a handful of longitudes east of them? These are questions that few have been asking until now.
Says John Ratzenberger: "Making and fixing things with your hands is a dying art in America, as I see it. Based on lessons I learned from creative play as a child, we've made 'be creative and work with your hands' into a national campaign to save the American skilled workforce."
In an economy wracked by layoffs and downsizing, finding a new job often means changing career paths. Despite the financial strain and emotional turbulence that comes with job changes, there is good news. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work.
The skilled labor force in the United States has set our nation apart with its skills, productivity and ingenuity. However, our skilled labor force is currently under siege; and being ravished by a punishing economy. The question for many of those workers is "When will I find my next job?"