Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) won a round of applause from the audience at the fourth Republican primary in Milwaukee, Wisc., when he suggested the United States needs more welders and fewer philosophers. Overall, America needs far more people in the skilled trades. The NAM’s Manufacturing Institute estimates that, over the next 10 years, a gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) skills will result in more than 2 million jobs in manufacturing left unfilled. That talent shortage threatens not only the manufacturing resurgence in America but also the level of economic growth the United States requires to keep our future brighter than our past.
So it’s time more Americans aspired to careers in manufacturing, which, to the senator’s point, are not only highly respectable but also highly compensated. Students and parents need to see STEM fields as exciting, empowering—and worthy to pursuing.
That’s a part of the message David Landon, welding engineering manager of NAM member company Vermeer Corporation, took to Fox Business. Watch.