Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Dec 2012 17:01 UTC
Apple So, Apple is serious about this thing. Tim Cook has said in an interview the company plans to manufacture one line of Macs in the US, starting next year. Coincidentally (or not?), Foxconn has just announced it plans to expand its production facilities... Into the United States. There's no indication as of yet that the two are linked, but the coincidence is at least interesting.
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RE: Good
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Dec 2012 20:08 UTC in reply to "Good"
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

That said, did it bother anyone else that in the interview he said the problem with domestic manufacturing isn't about costs, but lack of skills? Manufacturing companies have been laying off the skilled domestic workforce for years in favor of much cheaper labor.


The layoffs of skilled labor have been going on for years. I'm not sure where they have gone to, but there is a definite lack of them. I'm from a rust belt city and can attest there are job openings for skilled labor: welders, cnc machinists,ect. I think the problem is that very few younger employees wanted to get the skills during the long layoff periods. It didn't look too promising of a career choice. My high school had a work study program where kids could intern at a local factory and learn the skills they needed and start working as a full time employee the day after they graduated. Those programs don't exist anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Good
by Alfman on Thu 6th Dec 2012 21:07 in reply to "RE: Good"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill_Shooter_of_Bul,

Yea, I think it's a bit cyclic. Sponsored training is a relic of corporate DNA, the burden has been shifted to candidates as a pre-qualification for landing a job. It hasn't made sense to get trained for manufacturing skills amid the domestic manufacturing downsizes and high risks for being laid off. The remaining workforce is aging and nobody's willing to pay for training new local replacements.

I'm convinced that if you raise the wages and bring back corporate training, then more skilled workers will start to come out of the woodwork. But apparently that's alot to ask when the cost differences between local and offshore labor is still so great. Most multinational corporations will need some additional justification.

Edit: I'm anxious to see what apple does and how good of a model it can be for others. Of course they're particularly wealthy, but with a little luck maybe it can convince others to bring back manufacturing?

I feel terrible when 100% of the stuff in my office is made elsewhere. Not a damn thing gets made here. That's not entirely true, when I last surveyed the pencils were from USA.

Edited 2012-12-06 21:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Good
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Dec 2012 21:13 in reply to "RE[2]: Good"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think we also have to bring back vocational schools. The town's community college used to offer those same skills in classes. Some manufactures would pay for their employees to take certain skills and offer raises after taking them, but they weren't too expensive to pay out of pocket (~ $100).

Reply Parent Score: 3