I guess I am just more optimistic about the time frame, Nadine - the learning curve shouldn't take years if we bring expertise that already exists to bear. The example in the article does mention that training was necessary but recognizing the issue and implementing known solutions should shorten the learning curve.
@Nancy-I think we're in agreement. I never said that the lack of skills in the U.S. was insurmountable. Just that it would take years before we saw any significant change. If that point isn't address seriously, it could take decades.
@Nancy-I agree that there are several people in North America looking for jobs and willing to try.
But, research into this issue has already shown that the capabilities aren't here anymore. Accenture and Harvard Business School have done extensive research on this, amoung others. For the last few decades, people have been trained up to manufacture goods in other parts of the world, but nt here. The number of OEMs able to take on large orders in the US has dimished greatly across disciplines.
It's a barrier that can be overcome as the research shows. It will take time, likely decades. But, ignoring it won't bring jobs back to the US quickly.
If you have any research to site for your disagreemnt, I'd love to take a look. It's an interesting topic to read about.
"The real issue is the lack of manufacturing skills in the US. Those jobs left decades ago. Younger generations don't have to the same abilities and experience in manufacturing in the US labour force."
Hmmm...not sure I agree with this statement. It was the drive for cheaper labor that closed down manufacturing plants in the U.S. I think their return would both be welcome and would have jobseekers applying immediately that would do well. The abilities and experience mentioned come with training and time on task - regardless of where the plant is located.
TJ, I agree with you. I believe that the IEEE-USA does too. The issue you have with H1B visa is that they were originally designed for fields, such as medicine and basic research, where the world-wide population of proactitioners may actually be on the low side for what is needed. They became a way to get cheap engineers and programmers. I have researched this, and what I saw suprised me. Microsoft is the biggest user of these visas. They are hiring programmers!! What? I even saw that they were hiring purchasing managers through this program. Even if it is kept, it needs a major amount of reform. At a minimum, it should be tied to actual statistics.
One reason companies do find it useful is the issue of mobility. A H1B worker is coming into the country with no ties. That worker can locate anywhere without disrupting their family, etc. beyond the disruption caused by the decision to come to the US in the first place. American workers are much more settled these days. Many may have moved over their careers and found that those moves were not really very fruitful. Younger workers are generally very willing to move. My wife and I did early in our careers and my son just did it. Out demographic make-up is changed, though. Fewer people are willing to make the move. Companies like IBM, I have noticed (I worked for them in the past) tend not to move people around. They have a majority of mobile workers and distributed teams.
A small company that I talked to recently have a near-shoring site in the middle of the country. They are based in Silicon Valley and have other distributed offices for services. Their development shop is in this near-shoring location which is cheaper than Silicon Valley, but still a nice place to locate. This is the answer, I think.
I agree with your observations, RogueMoon - the categories are all valid but how much weight given to each depends on your viewpoint. I think quality control and the ability to implement design changes in a timely fashion are huge issues with off-shore manufacturing based on my observations and stories of industry practices from a friend who works for a company that distributes electronic products made in China. At any rate - it is a great thing to see the return of manufacturing to U.S. soil and hopefully this trend will continue and create a healthy economy based on consumers become the producers of what they consume.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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