How A Rust Belt Native and Silicon Valley Technologist Is Re-Thinking American Manufacturing –

Kim-Mai Cutler:

Q: So what can be done from a policy perspective to support this type of labor?

This breaks down to a number of problems.
You need to find highly-skilled labor. The highly-skilled operators and CAM programmers? There’s not enough of them that are being created. Companies in the U.S. are shortsighted. They should just pay people to go to school. You have to remember that most of these people don’t have a lot of money. There’s a disconnect. In Germany, there are government subsidies for vocational training. We should have tax credits for this. If you train people a certain amount for a certification, you would get it back in tax credits if people leave. Companies can’t do it on their own though. The margins at a company like Flextronics are like 6 percent gross. So they are trying to squeeze every little penny out of it. In the long run, this is a big risk to them.