I'm often surprised by the stuff I stumble onto simply by popping a couple of innocuous search terms into Google News.
The other day I was researching a story idea and I put in two broad terms—manufacturing and workforce—and wound up heading down a different path.
Take a look at these clips. All of them have been published in the last four weeks.
- El Camino College gets $1.3 million grant for employment training—The Daily Breeze, Torrance, Calif.
- UNH is poised to deliver highly skilled workforce—The Telegraph, Nashua, N.H.
- RI invests $150k in construction, machinist workforce training—The Daily Journal, Providence, R.I.
- $991,321 grant to train workforce—The News Tribune, LaSalle, Ill.
- WORKFORCE: IEEP, manufacturing group link up—The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.
- Highmark grants aid job training at seven midstate organizations—The Patriot News, Harrisburg, Pa.
- The Future Of Manufacturing Talent—Manufacturing Business Technology
- CAEDC Action Report: Americans want a country that builds things—Cherokee [Iowa] Chronicle Times
- State prepares for aerospace to take off—Charleston [S.C.] Regional Business Journal
- Filling the worker gap—The Tullahoma [Tenn.] News and Guardian
- Allentown looks to bring manufacturing, high-paying jobs back to city—The Express-Times, Easton, Pa.
- Clemson, Greenville Tech create Center for Manufacturing Innovation—The Times and Democrat, Orangeburge, S.C.
Something Solid & Positive
Now, I've only been covering workforce issues for IW since April. But to this neophyte's eyes, it sure looks like there's something interesting going on here. Something solid and positive. A surge, a gush, something.
Obviously this is an encouraging trend. If this type of public-private partnership were to catch fire everywhere—it's happening in a lot of places but not everywhere, not sea to shining sea—wouldn't it go a long way toward closing the skilled-worker gap that U.S. manufacturers face? If so, what's keeping it from happening?
While I'm at it, one last question (or two): Is this a mirage or the real deal? Does this burst of activity constitute a solid rock on which a reborn industry could be built, or is it an aberrant surge?