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youths, especially those 16 to 19 years. According to research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more of the
workforce in the 16 to 24 year old age group reported going to school as one of the main reasons for their
nonparticipation in the labor force in 2001 than their counterparts had reported a decade earlier.”10
“The most disturbing barrier, manufacturers report, to securing needed workers is the broken image of
manufacturing within the state. High school students disdain this future, avoid even discussing it with their
colleagues, and accept manufacturing jobs apparently with reluctance.”11
The incoming workforce, depended upon by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and US Department of Defense
reporting of a lack of industrial crisis, is viewed differently by manufacturers. “There is an emerging two-tiered
workforce in Wisconsin.12 Older, reliable, hard-working employees are retiring soon. Their potential
replacements may not be as dedicated to the work ethics of their forerunners and they are increasingly difficult
to hire and retrain.”13 The report continues to point out that although declining and replacement workers are not
yet in high demand, the warning signs are there.
The issue in the USA is almost unique, as it relates to the 16 to 24 year generation. “The problem for US
manufacturers is that the challenge is not universal. Countries with rich educational heritages, e.g., India, China
and Russia, are graduating millions more students each year from college than the United States. With such
international talent readily available and significant shortages existing at home, it is clear that the future of
American manufacturing may now be at stake.”14
© Reliability Center, Inc. 4 Additionally, the quality of education and worker will be, and may presently be, degrading. “In addition to
shortages of various types of employees, manufacturers surveyed reported that they are also dissatisfied with the
skills of their current employees. Among respondents to this national survey, nearly half indicated their current
employees have inadequate basic employability skills, such as attendance, timeliness and work ethic, while 46%
reported inadequate problem-solving skills, and 36% indicated insufficient reading, writing and communication
Connecting the Dots
The US Census Bureau, US Bureau of Labor Statistics and US Department of Defense each identify that the
aging workforce is not an issue and no industrial crisis exists, even stating that such feelings of crisis are
‘misplaced.’ From a statistical point of view, this may appear realistic. However, the US Bureau of Labor
Statistics did identify a dramatic change in the development of new jobs. Over 60% of new growth will be split
between the higher income, higher education pr...
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2014 for the course JOUR 2000W taught by Professor Katefarrish during the Spring '12 term at UConn.
- Spring '12