Dr. David Cole is the Chairman of AutoHarvest (autoharvest.org), a web based tool to accelerate innovation in the auto industry. Dr. Cole is Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and a former Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan where he taught courses related to the automotive field for over 25 years. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Engineering Society of Detroit and Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was recently elected to the Automotive Hall of Fame.
One of the great challenges facing our economy today and into the future is the availability of an appropriately educated and skilled workforce. In a Wall Street Journal article on Ft. Wayne, Indiana we saw a snap-shot of a broader national issue: the shortage of talent in manufacturing regions. In Ft. Wayne they have high unemployment and a large number of job openings suggesting a mismatch between the needs and skills available. In fact one of the most severe shortages is for skilled trades and technicians, skills that are taught in a local community college. The community college in Ft. Wayne was using only about 70% of its capacity to educate young people in these disciplines.
In Michigan, at a recent Summit on Jobs organized by the governor, the number one shortage of talent in Michigan was skilled trades and technicians. In second place were engineers with mechanical/electrical abilities. One important fact about both of these is that you have to “get your hands dirty”. Another way of looking at it is that it doesn’t necessarily mean getting oil and grime on your hands and clothes but you really must know how things work and have a deep understanding of how things work in the real world of manufacturing.
Continue reading It’s Not a Sin to Get Your Hands Dirty
Dr. John Psarouthakis, Founder and former CEO, JPIndusries,Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation. . Currently, Distiguished Visiting Fellow / Professor, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com
The job numbers reported by the U.S. Labor Department today were very disappointing. Lower than hoped 115,000 jobs were created in the U.S. in April. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, whatever that means these days. The government’s unemployment rate doesn’t take into account people that are underemployed and cannot get a full time employment. Nor does it include people who have given up looking for work. If we include these unfortunate persons the real unemployment is closer to 15%
We are experiencing the worst post-recession economic recovery since the great depression. The historically low interest rates and the government’s printing of over $2 trillion have kept the economy from falling into recession again. Today’s employment numbers is a clear indication that we have yet to see an economy structural improvement. If the economy does not accelerate soon the odds are in the direction of a mild double deep.
Recession is “Expanding”
It looks like that Britain joined into recession Italy, Ireland, Greece, Denmark, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain. France is moving in that direction as well. If we add that China is growing at slower rates than in the recent past and if these recessions become somewhat “deep” then Germany will find herself also in economic straits. Germany’s exports, 30% of GDP, will slow down significantly and her economy will suffer measurably. If all the above hold true into the future then you can all guess well what would be the effect on the USA economy and employment! It won’t take much of anything for a recession to revisit the USA
Continue reading Is our Economy Floating at best?