This is a time of year that many sit down and share traditional holiday stories with their children. Families reminisce and tell tales of past family members and of times gone by. As I sit here at my desk in my factory in California I also think of stories; one where California had a GDP larger than most countries, and one of where the United States had the best skilled workers in the world and could make anything the country needed or wanted.
As I visit high schools in my area and talk to kids, they are not hearing the story that the USA is still the preeminent manufacturer in the world. A story that is OK and should be revered when someone can take raw materials and make it into a desired end product and that having such a skill will pay you on average $20K more a year than a service-based job. A story of how America makes products in the greenest fashion in the world — especially here in California.
So my wish for 2012? That California and the entire U.S. will write a robust and exciting chapter for manufacturing. That once again, young students (both male and female) will see the promise of working in the manufacturing sector. That every student will be given opportunities for hands-on learning within the high school environment. That we provide every means possible to promote a STEM curriculum within our schools. That we once again as a nation have pride in our craftsmen, trade workers, machinists and engineers.
This is the chapter I wish to write within the story of manufacturing. What’s yours for 2012?