John Ratzenberger



To: Community, Business and Foundation Leaders

While 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 workforce.

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.

This 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!






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