Good morning dear readers and welcome back to kenbaxter.com! I am Ken Baxter of Las Vegas and today is Wednesday, December 24th, 2014. Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Hanukkah to my dear friends all over the world! Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas, not only a widely honored religious commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but also a hugely popular secular holiday marked by visits from Santa Claus, the exchanging of gifts, treats, and cards, family togetherness, caroling, and sometimes even a lovely feast! For many of us it is also the last (say it isn’t so!) shopping day before the merriment begins.
Yes, dear readers, with many joyous festivities in sight, it is often an unfortunate by-product of our desire to out-do ourselves and overindulge every last wish and want for our kids, spouses, family, and friends to become a frenzied, frazzled “Grinch” on these last days before Christmas. From gallantly fighting the crowds for that last treasured toy at the mall, to sleepily putting the final batch of cookies in the oven at midnight for the annual Christmas party, and exhaustedly wrapping presents ‘til the wee hours so the kids know Santa made his much anticipated trip down the chimney; all the stress of the holidays can really eat away at our sanity!
Luckily, it’s all worthwhile on Christmas morning, hearing the pitter patter of little feet running down the stairs at 5 A.M. (naturally two hours earlier than any other day!) to inspect the glorious bounty under the tree and listening carefully as quiet whispers turn slowly into excited giggles and shrieks of joy as they discover what’s in store!
For all the joy and excitement to be had on Christmas morning, we at Made In America encourage you to spend your hard-earned American dollars on U.S. made toys, sweaters, and Blu-Ray players this holiday season! While it is important to stick to our budgets during the holidays, it is equally important to support our economy and make the best choices not only for ourselves but for our country. Though that new remote control car made in China might be twenty bucks cheaper at Wal-Mart, it is guaranteed not to be as high quality and long-lasting as one manufactured right here in the US of A!
Not only that, but we must also remember how important it is to support the skilled workers in our country who help produce our American made goods and services. As you may have heard in the news, manufacturing jobs have long been and continue to be the backbone of our economy. Though we have struggled to create new jobs in this day and age, with every newly created manufacturing position, an additional five support jobs are created for our citizens who desperately need work. The benefit rises significantly when highly specialized technical jobs are created; each one supplying roughly sixteen additional support occupations to U.S. workers.
The good news is, due to increased American productivity, the cost of labor is becoming a less significant factor for companies when it comes to selecting U.S. versus foreign locations for factories and production facilities. And while the costs of energy, materials, and transportation are increasingly more important, America has the advantage over competing foreign countries due to our huge workforce and plentiful, low-cost energy sources.
Despite continued growth, we still face challenges in our manufacturing sector, which is why the support of every American citizen is integral to our overall economic success! The training of our workforce to meet the needs of the 21st century world, where developing and delivering the latest, high-tech manufactured products to domestic and global markets is of the utmost importance, and maintaining and improving our research and development for the creation of innovative new technologies is of the highest priority in order to edge out the competition.
In order to compete with these developed foreign economies and continue the production of highly specialized U.S. made materials in industries like aerospace, renewable energy, and nanotechnology, our manufacturing sector needs workers with significant training and specialized skills. The problem lies in the fact that our country has not yet invested in its educational systems for skilled manufacturing laborers as heavily as other countries such as Germany, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea have done. Did you know that only 7.1% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S. go to engineering majors? Compare that to nearly 18.4% internationally! As you can imagine, with lower-tier manufacturing sector jobs, the level of training is nearly non-existent. This spells trouble for our manufacturing sector if we don’t take action!
According to a 2014 Accenture Manufacturing Skills and Training Study, we have a serious shortage of skilled labor here in America. While nearly 50% of surveyed companies indicated they were planning to increase U.S. based production by at least 5% over the next five years, we may lose up to 11% of potential earnings due to the reduced talent supply chain. The only way to bridge the gap is to identify the skill sets needed for the jobs of tomorrow and invest in revolutionary training programs right here in the USA!
We at Made In America know how crucial this issue is for American workers and for the success of the American economy. We have therefore made it our number one priority to resurrect the manufacturing industry in the USA and be the driving force for the New Industrial Revolution here at home! We are spearheading Workforce Solutions through Certification Programs for our schools here in Las Vegas and across America in order to eliminate the skills gap so that students heading into the job market have a realistic chance at earning a decent, living wage.
As Americans, as we increase the value we place on our skilled laborers, we also increase our potential for economic growth on the whole, which in turn, creates a trickle-down effect. If the top-level manufacturing companies in the nation enhance their wealth by hiring appropriately trained, skilled workers, we all stand to reap the benefits – from the middle class on down, with the creation of new support jobs. It’s a win-win for every American citizen!
We hope you will join our mission to support our American economy this Christmas and throughout the New Year and beyond! There are plenty of resources available to search for American made products, goods, and services; some of the best include: http://www.americansworking.com/, http://www.madeinamericastore.com/, http://www.madeintheusa.com/, http://www.americanmadematters.com/, and http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade.
For more information about Made In America’s current projects, please visit our website: www.mianv.org.
Merry Christmas and God Bless Us, One and All!