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Research Report

Training Our Future:: Skilled Workers and the Revival of American Manufacturing

Alexei Monsarrat
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2013
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 24
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    The United States is at a pivotal moment that will determine its manufacturing competitiveness for decades to come. Once discounted by many economists and policymakers as passé, manufacturing—and especially advanced manufacturing—presents an opportunity to foster economic growth and create skilled jobs for those countries that can seize it. Since December 2009, advanced manufacturing in the United States added 500,000 employees, including 139,000 in the first four months of 2012 alone.1 These are not just jobs; they are what Gallup CEO Jim Clifton has called “good jobs.” As Clifton defines it, “A good job is a job with a...

  2. (pp. 4-15)

    To move from ad hoc coordination to such a nationwide campaign, we should establish a national commission to examine existing programs and help determine what works; launch a nationwide job training strategy for “scaling up” successful programs, while defining who pays for long-term investments workforce development; and launch across-national training methods institute to share lessons about what works here and abroad.

    Understanding what works should drive program design and investment decisions. Without a clear view of the public and private training landscape based on data-driven performance measures, government and business are too often operating in the dark. Despite the intense...

  3. (pp. 16-18)

    Business and government will inevitably tend to target different populations. Yet agreeing on whom to help most will be key in developing effective collaborative programs. What is the target skill level, employment status, and income level at the outset? Two particular populations may be especially suitable for pilot programs:

    Veterans: Veterans are a ready pool of labor that the kinds of partnerships we describe here can help to train for higher skilled jobs now. As Get Skills to Work recognizes, veterans can transfer their military training into civilian occupations relatively easily, especially with the added certifications and education that GSTW...