This first appeared in Infoworld's IDG Contributor Network. Read the full article here.
Re-shoring factories and supply chains is not enough: We must also have a workforce that can take advantage.
U.S. companies have been bringing manufacturing home, and with this has come almost a quarter of a million jobs since 2010. And more are on their way — Deloitte reports that about half of U.S. manufacturing executives plan to bring home some portion of their operations by 2020. But there’s a hard truth beneath this positive trend: While domestic manufacturing is near all-time highs, America is not fully prepared to fill the jobs of the future.
Peter Navarro, the Trump Administration’s new trade policy official in the White House, clearly identified the economic opportunity that exists right now when he called for “unwinding and repatriating international supply chains.” Doing so recognizes the dramatically shifting manufacturing cost structures that have been driven by U.S. factories’ widespread adoption of advanced information technologies.
However, re-shoring factories and supply chains is not enough: We must also have a workforce that can take advantage. On this subject, the administration is headed in the wrong direction. President Donald Trump’s budget would slash funding for worker re-training provided through American Job Centers and close many local Jobs Corp sites that offer job training and education for young people.
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Mark MacCarthy, Senior Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology. Follow Mark on Twitter at @Mark_MacCarthy.