In his State of the Union address, President Obama spoke about renewed efforts to train workers for manufacturing. This is good news. RMI has been a leader in working with community colleges, through the Technology and Innovation in Manufacturing and Engineering (TIME) Center, to develop relevant curriculum.
RMI was an early supporter of the National Association of Manufacturers skills certification initiative. (http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org)
“We have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.
Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job.”
President Obama (January 24, 2012)
What skills are needed? In discussion with members of RMI’s HR Directors group, we heard most often that applicants lack behavioral skills that prevent them from being selected. These include attitudes towards work, being on time, and in general, a lack of commitment to work.
“Work” skills and attitudes are needed, not just technical skills.
More State of the Union quotes from President Obama regarding Jobs, Business, & Manufacturing
“Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let’s change it.”
“First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it.”
“From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here.”
“If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.”
“It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.”
“I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration – and it’s made a difference.”
“There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia.”