Training Can Reset Outlook for Manufacturing Communities

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher, AAM

A recent segment on PBS Newshour explores the implications of automation for workers, particularly the predominately Hispanic population of the Southern California region an hour east of Los Angeles, known as the Inland Empire, where manufacturing and distribution centers dot the landscape.  

In this area, fears that automation will supplant jobs loom large.

Indeed, the prospect of manufacturing job loss should be seen as a threat to the livelihood of not only individual workers, but entire regions, particularly those with communities of color. When family-sustaining manufacturing jobs leave, it is these communities that are often disproportionately impacted by the aftermath though suffering is shared by all workers – all the more reason to fight for infrastructure investment and worker-friendly trade policies.

But there’s more that can be done to help ensure that America’s next generation of workers is ready for the factory of the future.

As we anticipate the integration of robotics into the workplace, we must also support programs that equip workers with advanced manufacturing capabilities. Where these programs are not in place, workers risk missing vital opportunities to build the core skills needed for the factory jobs of the future.

Paul Granillo, president and chief executive officer of Inland Empire Economic Partnership, highlights this concern in an interview for PBS Newshour:

“I think automation is wonderful, and I’m a user of automation. But if it’s only going to be that some regions are going to win and others are going to lose, I do believe that then it does become a moral issue.”

However, partnerships between colleges and companies are creating the programs needed to forestall this.

Featured in the PBS Newshour segment, California Steel Industries and local community colleges have collaborated to develop the Industrial Technical Learning Center, or InTech, in Fontana, Calif.

InTech’s instruction in critical advanced manufacturing fields promises to offer job security as automation integration continues. One InTech student, Erick Martinez comments:

“If I can’t use my manual skills because a robot or an algorithm is going to take my job, there is that uncertainty of, what am I going to do? But then you get exposed to, ‘Hey, we can train you to troubleshoot a lot of these changes that are happening, a lot of things that are replacing your job. Then you can be one step ahead of that.”  

As more advanced manufacturing training programs like that of InTech grow, so too do opportunities to build a better future for all.

After all, there’s no need to fear the robots!

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

He Gets the Bucks, We Get All the Deadly Bangs

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”

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Corruption Coordinates

Corruption Coordinates