Business and Foundation Leaders
producing the 97 episodes of “Made in America” for the
Travel Channel, I learned from dozens of factory owners that
the upcoming retirement of millions of skilled workers
threatens the collapse of our manufacturing economy. Why?
Because there are too few young people being trained with
real-world skills to take their places.
It is an undisputed fact
that America will not have a successful economy without
rebuilding our domestic skilled workforce. Think about what
happens when there are not enough expert workers to keep our
national energy grid working, repair water systems and
bridges, keep the elevators running, and fix traffic lights.
This is the tip of the iceberg. When nothing works
consistently, we become a Third World country!
This is why I’ve started
the 10 By 20 Pledge Campaign and why I need you to join
with me to reinvigorate America’s commitment to our skilled
We need young people to
experience the wonders of tinkering and building things. We
need to restore industrial arts programs during and after
school hours. We need to educate guidance counselors about
opportunities in the skilled trades for high paying and
rewarding jobs. We need to educate parents that not every
young person needs to go to college. We need to get the
media to stop demonizing “blue collar workers” in television
programs and movies.
year, I’ll be speaking out through radio and television
interviews, op-ed articles, and speeches around the country
to rally public support for local initiatives.
I hope you will contribute
financially and through your leadership to this campaign.
Look for ways your community, your foundation or your
company can step-up your leadership while we still have
time. Send us details about the vocational programs for
young people your organization supports so we can post
profiles on our website. And, send along your ideas and
suggestions as well!