How to Bring Back Manufacturing Jobs

In many ways this isn’t just about manufacturing, though the numbers are clear there.
Elsewhere there is a shortage in “cybersecurity”, which, when you look at it, isn’t so much about ‘security, per se but basic IT systems and network management. It doesn’t take a CISSP or CISA to be able to install and configure a network appliance that does fire-walling, spam/malware detection, DPS/egress filtering. The reality is that the vendors have made this all GUI based for the lowest common denominator. Unless you are a spoon-fed MSCE then following the vendor’s instruction to set these up, to set up “Good Practices”, and lets face it that applies to sysadmins as well as netadmins, is not taxing the brain.

Marcus Ranum, the inventor of computer firewalls (or at least the guy who pioneered coding them) once commented that vendor GUIs had so dumbed down firewall configuration that his cat could run it. I applaud his sentiments, but then I’m a CLI sort of guy 🙂

This article makes the observation that the hiring people are ‘not efficient’:

I’ve written before about the strange state of affairs in the job market.
Markets everywhere have become more efficient, thanks to technology and
brilliant new platforms that grant buyers and sellers of goods and services the
ability to meet one another online and agree on product and prices. And yet the
labor market has become less efficient. As the most recent JOLTS report
notes, there were some 5.6 million jobs open in the U.S. at the end of June,
up from 2.4 million in June 2009. If human resources professionals
could be 10 percent more effective at filling posts than they are, there would
be an additional 560,000 people working today.

The problem isn’t so much a recession or that technology is making people
redundant, as that the hiring process is broken.

The article goes on to address, and the comments mention, the cost of training.
Back in the days when the west was a manufacturing powerhouse firms did do internal or at least sponsored training; not just for manual workers but MBAs for upcoming managers. It was considered essential. The idea that employees would take the training and go elsewhere made little sense given that (a) everyone sponsored training and that (b) the firm offered advancement for those it trained.

Eliminating the ‘cost’ of training is misguided. We can see with the airlines and few other service industries that stripping down anything that is not mandated only serves to make customers unhappy. I’m sure if it wasn’t mandated by safety regulations stripping out things like the inflatable escape ramp, the drop down oxygen masks and oxygen tanks all to  reduce weight and hence fuel costs would be a normal practice. We’ve already seen the airlines strip down the quality and delivery of food, making it optional or charging for it on some flights; other cuts and charges are now applied for luggage; leg room gets reduced to squeeze in more seats. The bean counters have taken over and quality of service and customer care goes out the window. And it becomes a Evolutionary Machiavellian race; if you don’t do the same the others will get an edge on you.
So we have a downward spiral.

How to escape it?

I look at what the current US election is offering. The two candidates the parties have chosen don’t offer a solution. Rhetoric and insults, yes, but not a solution. Perhaps Bernie Saunders offered a glimpse. We can see that a positive campaign like that of Justin Trudeau here in Canada inspires people and inspires positive change. That is lacking in the approach of both the candidates for the US presidency.

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