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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:09 PM

American Parents' Obsession With Status Is Keeping Kids Unemployed

Unemployment remains stubbornly high at 7.9 percent, despite the fact that there are as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs open.

That's because employers frequently can't find people with the skills they need, even though many only take two-year degrees. Many students graduate four year schools saddled with debt, with no job opportunities in their field of study.

...

Parents like the idea of manufacturing jobs. They just don't particularly like the idea of their kids having one. According to Jennifer McNelly, President of The Manufacturing institute, "manufacturing jobs come in at the of the list of jobs people want in their community, but just 3 out of 10 parents want their own kinds to go into these jobs."


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/american-parents-obsession-with-status-is-keeping-kids-unemployed-2013-2

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Reply American Parents' Obsession With Status Is Keeping Kids Unemployed (Original post)
FarCenter Feb 2013 OP
antigone382 Feb 2013 #1
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #8
SheilaT Feb 2013 #10
FarCenter Feb 2013 #11
winter is coming Feb 2013 #2
antigone382 Feb 2013 #7
upaloopa Feb 2013 #3
midnight Feb 2013 #4
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #5
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #6
silverweb Feb 2013 #9
Viva_La_Revolution Feb 2013 #12

Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:18 PM

1. There is zero evidence in this article that parents' perceptions are actually the problem.

The fact that you can quote a statistic does not mean that you can tie it to the point you are making (let me be clear on edit that I am referring to the article, not you personally). The factory jobs that I know pay better than fast food, but not that well (the single skilled $150,000/yr job mentioned in the article notwithstanding), are often temporary or highly uncertain, and have brutal hours and work demands.

I know several people who were put in harmful conditions working with dangerous chemicals without adequate protection--of course this is technically illegal, but I'm in a right-to-work state, and the reality (which employers well know) is that workers are intimidated, ignorant, and/or don't have the resources to adequately challenge these violations. That's the reason the young people I know don't want to take those jobs. Not to mention a whole lot of them are in fields associated with fossil fuel and other industries that are *actually destroying the planet as we speak.* You can make some decent money doing those jobs right now but where does that leave your children? People shouldn't have to make that choice.

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Response to antigone382 (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:24 PM

8. I work with a number of manufacturers in a non-profit forum

And they REALLY want higher skilled workers and are willing to pay for them. What they want is a mechanical engineer who ALSO knows how to do specialty welding -- that sort of thing. They want employees with traditional building trades skills but ALSO a higher level of technical education so that they're more adept at problem-solving. And for some trades with experience and overtime, $150K per year is absolutely on the table.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:46 PM

10. A mechanical engineer who

ALSO knows how to do specialty welding? Really? is that realistic?

I know next to nothing about either mechanical engineering or welding of any kind, and they're probably slightly closer in skill set than say tree surgeon and cosmetologist, they do sound to me like rather different things.

Of course, it's not just the manufacturers. You see it every day in the various want ads, where a business wants a whole bunch of office skills (Word, Excel, some accounting program, and three other things) and they're offering ten bucks an hour.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:02 PM

11. MEs can take courses in welding, and some even specialize in it

Some may have worked in a machine shop to pay for college.

It's like looking to hire a performing musician who has been to conservatory and has a BMusic. Someone not only versed in performing but in composition, appreciation, history, theory, and other academic facets of music.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:19 PM

2. If the pay were truly that good, kids would be flocking to their jobs.

I know a guy who used to be a machinist. After doing that for a few years, he decided he'd gut out a college degree after all. He's been an engineer for the last decade and has shown no interest in going back to be a machinist.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:22 PM

7. +1

Add to that the fact that factories open and close all the time as they look to the global labor pool to minimize costs. There is no way to know whether the factory job you have today is going to be there when you can send production to an Export Processing Zone halfway around the world for pennies on the dollar in terms of labor costs, working conditions, and environmental standards.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:19 PM

3. A manufacturing business needs all types of skills

not just the line jobs. Sales, accounting, buyers, managers of all kinds, inventory control, marketing, engineering to name a few.
Manufacturing creates wealth by producing something more valuable than the parts going into it.
We need all the manufacturing we can get.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:19 PM

4. I would love to know where these 600,000 manufacturing jobs are that our

college kids with debt won't take.... Some piece of this information does not seem to mesh... I wonder if the manufacturing jobs will not be given to these kids with college degrees because they are afraid these kids with degrees will leave. Or I suspect it's a new way to call the unemployed lazy...

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:20 PM

5. I don't think it is so much about status

Job security in those professions is fickle and the work can be backbreaking. Not all manufacturing jobs are well-paying either.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:21 PM

6. Wouldn't this be another example of a (free) market failure ...

Free market principles suggest that where, at a 7.9% unemployment rate, employers can't fill 600,000 vacant manufacturing jobs because they "can't find the people with the skills they need", the wages of those jobs would rise to a/the point where those with the skills would be drawn in, filling the void.

But ... that's right ... there ARE people with the skills; just not enough people with the skills that: 1) fit the employer profile, e.g., <50, >650 FICO Score, zero convictions/arrests, and/or remind the owner of his/her son (or that great kid that lived across the street); or, 2) are willing to do the work for what the employer is willing to pay.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:40 PM

9. There's some truth to that.

I know from my own family experience. Mother went into an absolute fit when my brother, who is a Gold Seal licensed engineer (but without a college degree), was called "blue collar" by one of her snobby friends.

She also never forgave me for refusing to take on enough debt to graduate from an expensive, private, prestige university (and never offered to help pay for it).

The status pressure exists and it does affect the choices young people feel pressured to make.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:32 PM

12. you don't send your kid to college so he can work at a factory

you send him to college so he can work at starbucks.

I wonder how I managed to work in so many factories with just a high school diploma! Maybe because 20 years ago, you didn't need any degrees to run a machine (hint: you still don't, you just don't get hired in the first place)

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