Four-year colleges and universities are not the only path to prosperity; community colleges and technical schools offer cost-effective pipelines to the workforce, writes Staff Writer Richard P. Hand. For more on the role community colleges can play in promoting social mobility, check out Mary Deweese’s Failed: The Myths And Realities Of Community Colleges, and How to Fulfill the American Dream Through Community College Reform. Available on WestLaw and Lexis.
by Richard P. Hand
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump often spoke about the nation’s loss of unskilled manufacturing jobs. For many of his followers, “Make America Great Again” was the rallying cry for bringing back American manufacturing jobs.
One can see the logical appeal to his simple message. Factories that hired employees for unskilled manufacturing jobs were in America. Factories that hired employees for unskilled manufacturing jobs are now in other countries. Therefore, if we bring back said factories to America, then there will be more unskilled manufacturing jobs.
The harsh reality, however, is that the factories that once hired a multitude of unskilled workers now hire a few unskilled workers and use a multitude of automated machines. While bringing back unskilled manufacturing jobs may sound appealing, at best it could provide a short-term fix for a few unemployed Americans, and at worst it could create trade wars that drive up prices on everyday goods.