10 by 20 Pledge for America!

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10 by 20 Pledge for America! - Center for America

10 by 20 Pledge for America!Sign the Pledge!www.CenterforAmerica.org


ContentsThe Skills Crisis Facing America.........................1Did You Know?......................................................2What You Can Do in Your Community..................3One Community Leadership Model.....................4Letter from John Ratzenberger............................5Investor’s Business Daily Op-Ed Article..............6Overview of the 10 By 20 Pledge Campaign......8Center for AmericaCFA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose programsbring people face to face with issues that affect the futurequality of life, economic prosperity and freedom in America.CFA offers a wide range of learning programs and knowledgeresources about ways people can get involved to help solveAmerica’s problems.To become a sponsor or funder of the 10 By 20 Pledge forAmerica, please contact Karen Kaplowitz, VP, at 888-890-4240 or kkaplowitz@newellis.comTax deductible financial contributions for the 10 By 20Campaign can be made by credit card through the CFAwebsite. Checks should be made out to “Center for America”and mailed to:Center for America250 Willow Springs DriveRoswell, GA 30075 717-317-2423© 2011 Center for America.All rights reserved.10 By 20 Pledge for America!


The Skills Crisis Facing AmericaThe acute and worsening shortage of skilledworkers threatens a cascading collapse ofmajor segments of American industry and oureconomy – an “Industrial Tsunami” – in thecoming six to ten years.Executives and business owners in virtuallyevery industry are acutely aware of this andreadily admit they don’t know how they will fillnecessary positions. Many say privately thattheir companies may have to close becausethey are so short of trained workers.• The average age of skilled workers in manytrades is 54 to 56 years old and soon thissenior group will retire leaving a gap thatwill not be filled by new entrants.• According to the U.S. Bureau of LaborStatistics, more than 25% of the workingpopulation will reach retirement age by2012, resulting in a potential shortage ofnearly 10 million skilled workers.Ironically, these skill shortages are occuringat a time of dramatically high unemployment.This heightens the price our country is payingfor having dismantled so many in-schoolvocational training programs during the lastfew decades.The current shortage already sharply reducesthe growth of the U.S. gross domestic productcontributing to our overall economic problem.• Our country’s infrastructure is falling apartright before our eyes. Municipal watersystems are failing and more bridgesare unsafe to cross. Yet, the nationwideshortfall of more than 500,000 weldersis already causing repair projects to bedelayed or cancelled.We are not keeping up withthe demand for people withskills to build, maintain andrepair heavy constructionequipment, like cranes,which must be built in theU.S.• Finding the skilledworkers to buildcranes is a majorhurdle. Once a crane isbuilt, the next major hurdle is to find skilledoperators. Then, the next is to find skilledworkers to maintain and repair the cranes.This problem already affects virtually everyindustrial enterprise in the U.S.Manufacturing is the bedrock of Americanfreedom. National security problems arisebecause the ongoing demand for U.S.-manufactured military parts – from boots tobullets – requires domestic manufacturingoperations. Even now, critical manufacturinghas been moved off-shore as a stop-gapmeasure.Thus, America is facing a tragedy of epicproportion that will cause suffering forgenerations to come and from which we maynever recover if we lose our manufacturingedge to other countries. The pervasive impactof this crisis has the potential to turn Americainto a second-rate economy.1www.CenterforAmerica.org


Did You Know?::According to a May 2011 survey by Manpower Group among 40,000 employers globally,skilled trades workers as a group rank number one in the U.S. and 13 other countries as tothe “difficulty of filling jobs due to the lack of talent”.::At the height of the recession, 32% of manufacturers reported that they had jobs goingunfilled because they could not find workers with the right skills, according to the NationalAssociation of Manufacturers.::2.7 million manufacturing employees are 55 years of age or older and likely to leave the laborforce over the next 10 years. (NAM) This does not include skilled workers in other sectors,such as those in the utility and trucking sectors.::By 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those 55 and older will numbersome 40 million and comprise nearly a quarter of the total U.S. labor force. The retirementof this age group over the ensuing decade has the potential to cripple U.S. industry unlessthose fewer entering the workforce have advanced skills along with science, technology andmathematics attainment.::A 2011 survey by The Nielson Company among executives from 103 large U.S. manufacturingfirms found that on average, the shortage of skilled workers will cost each company $63million over the next five years, some as much as $100 million. These costs include trainingand recruiting, followed by problems caused by lower quality and resulting decreases incustomer satisfaction.::In 2010, China had 19.8% of global factory output, compared with 19.4% for the U.S., makingChina the world leader in manufacturing, according to IHS Global Insight. However, laborproductivity in the U.S. is three times that of China. The U.S. lead in productivity can bemaintained only by ensuring that a skilled labor shortage is avoided.: : “Industry experts are predicting a shortage of 150,000, 300,000, 500,000 or more [truck]drivers by [2012],” according to Heavy Trucking Magazine. Roughly one quarter of the637,000 aerospace workers in the U.S. could be eligible for retirement this year, according tothe Aerospace Industries Association.10 By 20 Pledge for America!


What You Can Do in Your Community to SupportExpanded Training for Skilled American JobsHow many ways you can help!Look for resources and links on the CFA website.Young People and Parents• Enroll in after-school programs or summercamps that focus on skills-building projects• Attend events sponsored by skills trainingcenters to find programs that are excitingHigh School and Parents• Talk with guidance counselors about careersin the skilled trades and technical fields• Visit local manufacturing companies to learnabout their jobs, training and factories• Learn about what skills training programsare offered by community colleges, nonprofitorganizations and visit the most interestingonesTeachers and Guidance Counselors• Invite speakers from manufacturers to talkabout their companies and jobs• Organize field trips for teachers and studentsto visit manufacturersSchool System Administrators• Work with local business and existingnonprofit training centers to expandcooperative training opportunities forstudents• Consider how to support manufacturing skillsand technical curricula in your schoolsRetirees• Volunteer to teach your skills to others orhelp with community outreach activitiesBusiness Managers, Owners• Invite local student and youth groups to touryour facilities and talk about the benefitsof careers in manufacturing and technicaltrades• Consider whether you can offerapprenticeships in collaboration with localtraining programs• Consider whether several businesses canwork together to support and sponsorlocal trainingprograms• Encourageemployeesto volunteeras faculty fornonprofit orpublic school training programsUnions• Encourage members to sign-up for additionaltraining to help them transition to better jobs• Work with local companies to help supportand sponsor local training programsFoundations• Develop “seed money” grants to help startuptraining programs or fund special outreachContinues next page ...3www.CenterforAmerica.org


• Seek out programs that to bring school dropoutsback into school and skills training• Seek out special projects that will givetraining program students a real-lifeexperience, such as rehabbing a house orbuilding a boatMedia• Consider coverage on companies seekingand training skilled workers• Consider series coverage on the range oflocal tinkering and training programs forvarious age groups and workers in transitionState Officials• Reassess the adequacy of state policiesand support for nonprofit and public schooltraining programs in light of future skilledworker needs• Support andpromoteeffectivepublic-privatetrainingpartnershipsas role modelsOne Community Leadership Model: Bradley Tech in MilwaukeeJohn Ratzenberger visited with the students andfaculty of the Lynde & Harry Bradley Technologyand Trade School. Its mission is to deliver a quality,comprehensive four-year academic and technicaleducation that enables students to deliver life-longlearning skills and apply their talents on a welldefinedTrade and Technology career path.Bradley Tech is guided by a commission ofcommunity and business leaders that specificallyunites Milwaukee Area Technical College, MilwaukeePublic Schools and the University of Wisconsin,Milwaukee. The commissioners ensure the schoolprovides high quality educational experiencesconsistent with the needs of the world of work intrades and technology.The school offers specialized curriculum andexperiences to prepare students in the areas oftechnology and trades for the 21st century, helpingthem compete in our global society. The schoolrequires 26 credits for graduation. A shop certificatehonors students who complete the expected 10credits in the technology and trade program withoutstanding performance.Bradley Tech has four small learning communities:Communications Academy (sponsored by AT&T),Construction Academy (sponsored by PieperPower),Design Academy (sponsored by Harley-Davidson),and Engineering Processes Academy (sponsoredby Rockwell Automation). Students apply to anacademy upon entry.The staff meets often to enhance curriculum,improve instructional approaches, and discussstudent performance. Interventions to assiststudents are explored for those who may needan extra boost. Each of these small learningcommunities has an Instruction Administrator, anIntervention Administrator, and a community ofteachers who will stay in place as their studentsmove through the high school grades.Contact: Ed Krupka700 S. 4th Street • Milwaukee, WI 53204414-212-2400E-mail: 014@milwaukee.k12.wi.uswww.BradleyTech.org10 By 20 Pledge for America!


John RatzenbergerFellow Americans,While producing the 97 episodes of “John Ratzenberger’s Made in Americafor the TravelChannel, I learned from dozens of factory owners that one of their biggest problems is how tostay in business when so few young Americans are capable of, or interested in, working with theirhands.The upcoming retirement in a few years of millions of skilledworkers, whose expertise in building things is not beingpassed along to younger generations, threatens the collapseof our manufacturing economy and with it, our middle class.Many companies already face serious worker shortages.Looking ahead, it is clear that America cannot maintain asuccessful economy without rebuilding the skilled workforce.This means that we must reintroduce our young people to the joys of building things with theirhands and to sustainable careers in the skilled trades. This is why I’ve started the IndustrialTsunami campaign.We need young people to experience the wonders of tinkering and building things. We needto restore industrial arts programs during and after school hours. We need to educate guidancecounselors about opportunities in the skilled trades for high paying and rewarding jobs. We needto educate parents that not every young person needs to go to college. We need to get the mediato stop demonizing “blue collar workers” in television programs and movies.In support of our Industrial Tsunami television documentary and the educational resources onour campaign website, I’ll be speaking out through radio and television interviews, op-ed articles,and speeches around the country.I hope you will contribute financially and through your leadership to this campaign. I wouldenjoy learning about the local and national vocational programs for young people your companysupports, and to have your ideas and suggestions as well.Regards,John5www.CenterforAmerica.org


Investor’s Business DailyHelp Wanted: Skilled Workers Need ApplyBy JOHN RATZENBERGERWhen did “blue collar” become a dirty word inAmerica? Right about the same time Americagave up its position as the world’s producer andinstead became the world’s most conspicuousconsumer.That’s not to bash free enterprise; we needto purchase and consume. But this culturalshift has created an “industrial tsunami” thatthreatens our free enterprise system.America faces a crisis of epic proportions.The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts thatby 2012, there will be a shortfall of nearly 3million skilled worker positions in America.The average age of skilled workers in manytrades is 54-56 years old, and as this veterangroup retires, there are not enough trainedworkers to replace them. Today’s shortagesharply reduces the growth of U.S. grossdomestic product — certainly not a help in thecurrent economy.As I’ve traveled the nation and met withbusiness owners, I hear the same story.Employers are desperate for skilled workersto fill essential jobs. Many say privately thattheir companies may have to close or moveoperations to another country because of thisshortage — despite the offer of good pay andbenefits. We’re experiencing the loss of theonce-vaunted production edge that Americaenjoyed.A few examples bring this to light. Ourcountry’s infrastructure requires majorupgrades and repairs. Municipal water andsewer systems are failing, and many bridgesand overpasses are unsafe. Yet, the nationwideshortfall of 500,000 welders is causing hugedelays or cancellations for funded repairprojects.Heavy construction equipment, such as cranes,must be built in America to meet the demand.Finding the skilled workers to build cranes isa major hurdle. Once built, a crane requiresskilled operators, as well as skilled repairand maintenance workers to keep the cranesoperating. This scenario is typical of virtuallyevery industrial enterprise in the nation.From aviation to energy, the skilled workergaps are enormous. This has dangerousimplications for our national security. Tomaintain the world’s most sophisticatedmilitary, we must produce systems, partsand hardware in America. Without domesticmanufacturing operations, critical componentwork has been moved offshore as a stopgapmeasure.Negative media images of skilled workers —what I call “essential workers” — pervade ourculture. Educators, employers and communityleaders are slowly becoming engaged inefforts to counter this dangerous trend thatglamorizes “celebrity” and “corporate” livingat the expense of skilled trades that offer agood living to those who choose to work withtheir hands and minds.10 By 20 Pledge for America!


Truth is, high-profile athletes and entertainersare nonessential. If all the celebrities like medisappeared overnight, it would be sad, but theworld would continue with little disruption.But if plumbers, electricians, welders,carpenters, lathe operators, truck drivers andother “essentials” disappeared, our countrywould grind to a halt.By encouraging skilled trades and peopleworking with their hands, we are also fosteringthe kind of innovation that leads to a “bettermousetrap.” Before becoming an actor, Iworked as a carpenter and always tinkeredwith better ways to do things. I started EcoPak Industries, a company that developed andmanufactured packaging alternatives madefrom biodegradable and nontoxic recycledpaper as an alternative to Styrofoam “peanuts”and plastic bubble wrap. In the mid-’90s, Isold the company, and it’s now grown to fivemanufacturing plants providing the productworldwide.We must mobilize the public to restore thedignity of essential skilled workers. We mustrestore industrial arts programs in Americanschools to provide opportunities for youngpeople in greater numbers to build careersbuilding the things Americans need.The good news is that that there are successfulnational and local initiatives working toaddress this crisis. One of my recent visitswas to Bradley Tech, a Milwaukee-based highschool that has four academies, each mentoredby a sponsor company.Bradley Tech provides hands-on educationthat encourages skilled trades. Reaching thenext generation of young people, with muchneededprograms like this, is the key to asustainable Great American Recovery.The lens through which I view the worldis simple: The manual arts always takeprecedence over the fine arts. Remember,someone had to build the ceiling beforeMichelangelo could go to work.7www.CenterforAmerica.org


10 By 20 Pledge for America!America Needs Jobs Now! And 10 Million Skilled Workers by 2020!At the height of the recession, 32% of manufacturers reported they hadjobs going unfilled because they could not find workers with the right skills!10 By 20 Pledge for America“We can believe in ourselves again!”America’s #1 issue – JOBS! We need skilledjobs today – and we’ll need them by the millionsover the next 10 years.The 10 By 20 Pledge for America seeks 1 millionsigners mobilized to support 10 million newskilled jobs by 2020.Let’s show politicians that Americans can getit done – starting with our own communities.Kicking off on Labor Day 2011, we inviteyou, your friends, workers, employers andcommunity leaders to Sign the Pledge at www.CenterforAmerica.org.The Pledge Goes National in AugustThe skilled worker and jobs crisis threatensthe lifeblood of American prosperity. We mustrestore the dignity and pride of America’s skilledworkers. This is bigger than partisan politics –this is about America!Someone taught me…so I will teach it forwardWhat can I do to help? The American successstory is built on teaching each other how toachieve. Every community can create the rightcombination of programs tailored to local needswithout waiting for government to do it forthem. Click here for some specific ideas to getstarted!And – government may learn what Americareally needs and how to help us get there –SKILLED JOBS!Companies, unions, community and faith-basedgroups are signing up to be part of the national10 By 20 Pledge for America campaign. Signthe Pledge and let’s get started!Sponsorship Opportunities• Become a sponsor or funder today – pleasecontact: Karen Kaplowitz, Vice President,888-890-4240 or kkaplowitz@newellis.com.Well-known leaders, celebrities and heartlandorganizations will share compelling storiesand empowering ideas to inspire communityaction. Multi-media outreach – print, website,electronic, TV and radio – will reach millionsof Americans with the “10 By 20 Pledge forAmerica” messages.Center for America250 Willow Springs Drive • Roswell, GA 30075 • 770-317-2423© 2011 Center for America. All rights reserved. www.CenterForAmerica.org

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