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There was a news item on the front page of the Washington Post this morning entitled “U.S. Manufacturing Sees Shortage of Skilled Factory Workers” that left me shaking my head.

According to the article, there are approximately 600,000 US manufacturing jobs currently unfilled, and manufacturers are having a hard time finding workers who are:

  • Technically adept at working with complex pieces of computer-run equipment
  • Used to working more than 40 hours a week, in shifts that run at all hours of the day
  • Used to working in a loud environment where you get dirty and oily
  • Hyper conscious about working safely around dangerous equipment
  • Young (manufacturing has a graying workforce, where upwards of 25% of current employees are over 55 years old)

Plus, there is the perceived stigma of wearing a uniform with your name on the shirt and being treated differently… (Does anyone see the argument I am about to make?)

With only a few edits, here is the story I could write:

There are approximately 800,000 US veterans currently unemployed.  These highly skilled men and women are:

  • Technically adept at working with complex pieces of computer-run equipment (such as command and control systems, missile launchers, telecommunication vans, unmanned aerial vehicles, tanks, etc.)
  • Used to working more than 40 hours a week, in shifts that run at all hours of the day
  • Used to working in a loud environment where you get dirty and oily (and sandy, and occasionally shot at)
  • Hyper conscious about working safely around dangerous equipment
  • Young (veterans range on average from 18-42 years old)
  • Diverse (41% non-white)

Sounds like we could solve two problems at one time if we put our heads together…keep manufacturing jobs in the US and reduce the unemployment rate for those who have served their country.  Who’s with me?

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