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Old 01-10-2010, 03:49 AM   #1
PaulaSB12
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Saw this on cnn how true do you think it is

I don't think this is political if it is appologise

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/...llars.blue.cnn
What they are saying is that more people are not looking at blue collar jobs because they have fallen for the idea of a college education and a desk job, do you believe the prejudice is there and if so why?
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:14 AM   #2
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I've seen a strong movement towards white collar jobs in this country for my whole life. There is a large and growing pay differential.

The following chart is from the article Keeping America's Edge. You can see that since 1947 manufacturing output has remained relatively constant as a percentage of our countries output (we really do still make things), but the number of people needed for that production has fallen by over half.



Many factors including automation and global competition have conspired to drive down wages for unskilled and semi-skilled labor. At the same time, they have pushed up the wages for many IP related jobs.

My advice to anyone deciding on a career would be to listen to their heart AND the market and pick a career that they will enjoy from among those that pay well. If you want to work with things, become a mechanical engineer rather than a factory worker.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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I'm not sure I would agree that wages for labor have been driven down.

This is anecdotal, of course, but at our manufacturing facility the need for unskilled labor has gone down, while the need for semi-skilled operators has risen -- we now need people to run the equipment that has further automated our operation.

Since these are semi-skilled, the wages are higher, and the overall pay scale at our facility has adjusted upward accordingly.


Personally, I get very frustrated by the state of the applicants we see these days. These are kids with no skills, no plan, and no clue. They graduated from HS with little more thought than, "I'll just get a job somewhere." Factory jobs become the default.

Then there are the ones who went to community college for a semester or two and dropped out or failed (and they usually owe ridiculous amounts in student loans that become immediately payable). These were kids who were not in any way post-secondary material. But it is too politically incorrect to say so, or to try to guide them toward the vocational school. I believe our educational system does them a great disservice.

And most of the kids in either of these scenarios would, with a minimal amount of training, become excellent semi-skilled machine operators, or even eventually skilled tradespeople. So guess who that training falls to? Us, the employer.

Sorry -- end of personal vent.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaSB12 View Post
I don't think this is political if it is appologise

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/...llars.blue.cnn
What they are saying is that more people are not looking at blue collar jobs because they have fallen for the idea of a college education and a desk job, do you believe the prejudice is there and if so why?
There has always been a stigma against blue collar jobs and the labor field. My son just graduated from H.S. and the inference was that if you went to a tech/vocational school you were not smart enough to get into college.

I don't know why that is. I tried to tell my son that people will always need electricians, plumbers and carpenters and they are good paying jobs.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:36 AM   #5
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I see this - most college and high school kids aren't thinking of going into blue collar jobs (at least not the ones that I've been in contact with), they are looking at white collar jobs. Flame if you want but I've seen the move to "I'm to good for that" in regards to manufacturing and labor jobs. Don't get me wrong, my husband, brother, father, uncles, etc. are all in manufacturing adn it hurts to see the decline in these industries.

We were recently hiring at work for a skilled labor position - with the unemployment numbers like they are we thought we would be overwhelmed with applicants and boy were we wrong
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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Sadly, as we draw away from "do what you love" to "do what gains approval", this type of thing is likely to happen. The mechanic in the story had a very good point: he got a degree ("do what gains approval") but he's learned that he's happier building things with his hands and getting dirty ("do what you love").

There's also the greed factor. People believe (and for now it's somewhat true) that you go to college to get a higher-paying job. What the newest college graduates have run into are all the old college graduates of the 80's and 90's who've taken those higher paying jobs and are in mid-career right now. They're not going to retire for years and there simply aren't enough higher paying jobs to go around anymore. Especially since manufacturing was the engine that drove those higher paying jobs and we, as a country, no longer manufacture.

Finally, there IS a prejudice against those who haven't been to college. I'm not a college graduate and I see it everywhere. I could be a top performer in the very job they're advertising for with Department Managers who would salivate over the skills I could bring to their Department. But chances are good that HR will toss my resume before the managers of the department even see it because they can't check the box that says "College Degree".

Last edited by Carly_Roach; 01-10-2010 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
There has always been a stigma against blue collar jobs and the labor field. My son just graduated from H.S. and the inference was that if you went to a tech/vocational school you were not smart enough to get into college.

I don't know why that is. I tried to tell my son that people will always need electricians, plumbers and carpenters and they are good paying jobs.
I am a worker in a factory (semi skilled) training to become a technical operator when I pass my training I will be on about £35,000 I know some of the office staff think their jobs are somehow more "intellegent" than ours but they are generally on about £20,000 less than we are.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaSB12 View Post
I am a worker in a factory (semi skilled) training to become a technical operator when I pass my training I will be on about £35,000 I know some of the office staff think their jobs are somehow more "intellegent" than ours but they are generally on about £20,000 less than we are.
So the American dollar equivalent is about $50,000 for a Technical Operator, $21,000 for office staff.

That seems like a very wide breach. Are you speaking of typists and/or filing clerks or the people that do the accounting?
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaSB12 View Post
I am a worker in a factory (semi skilled) training to become a technical operator when I pass my training I will be on about £35,000 I know some of the office staff think their jobs are somehow more "intellegent" than ours but they are generally on about £20,000 less than we are.
Another thing is office staff is usually salary-whereas shop workers are Hourly and when Business is good can get lots of overtime$$$!!!!


My AirConditioner HVAC guy makes a killing!
Last summer we spent $3000 on the upstairs unit , plus he's been here a few other times.
My downstairs unit will have to be changed next summer & its the biggie-about $8000.....and he is always busy!

That is one Blue collar job that is in demand!
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:51 PM   #10
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Not everyone is college material. I think the country and secondary schools don't do enough to push that idea. What happens then is too many kids think they *have* to go to college and are not cut out for it. They get in there and then either fail miserably or hate it and have no career direction. This has NOTHING to do with intelligence levels. It has everything to do wth the different types of intelligence out there. For some people, it is not measured in how well you read a book and score on a test.

I don't live in an area where there are factories or manufacturing, but I live in an area where there's always lots of construction and going into one the trades can be quite lucrative or comfortable financially and works better for many people. However, the high schools do not encourage this one iota because, let's face it, people don't think it's as good of a job as sitting in a cubicle.

I think a lot of kids are getting steered the wrong way.

I also think it is ridiculous that private companies and the government are pushing towards entry-level office employees "needing" that college degree. C'mon--I would say that many of the jobs performed in my agency do NOT require a degree--they require a person with a good work ethic and willingness to learn. Yeah--I know--you've finished four years of college so an employer knows you can stick to something for four years. I haven't always seen that pan out.

I think college is necessary for engineers, lawyers, physicians, or any other career that requires a skill set that must be taught. I'm not so sure that budget analysts, management analysts, and all the other inflated titles require such a thing.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:57 PM   #11
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I think regardless if you're heading off to college, or a trade school, it's really imperative that you enter a growing field and a field that's not as easily outsourced. The last time my husband was in the ER (last January) they sent all the lab results to India to be read. Sadly, whatever can leave the country, is slowly leaving.

My son wants to be a mechanic and I'm in total support of his choice. He'll learn high performance as well as alternative energy sources to keep him geared toward industry standards of the future.

My daughter however is VERY intelligent and I have tried pushing, and pushing, and pushing her toward college, but she's finally decided (against my wishes) that she's going to beauty school. I do know it's a field where she can 1 day open her own business, not be outsourced, make a descent living wage, and not start out too heavily in debt. She'll also be attending a school that has a 99% placement rate, so her odds of finding a job are fairly high. She'd be pushing toward fashion, art, etc... if she went to college, and in reality, those types of majors really don't come with any sort of guarantee on future employment. So.....

I guess it could be worse.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:02 PM   #12
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A college education can offer a lot more than a desk job. There are still plenty of trades needing skilled labor, but the unions are having to be more "creative" in their endeavors. If we ever do actually move towards a more global unionization, then it will be the American worker who pays the highest price in lowered wages.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:11 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Carly_Roach;34952526]So the American dollar equivalent is about $50,000 for a Technical Operator, $21,000 for office staff.

That seems like a very wide breach. Are you speaking of typists and/or filing clerks or the people that do the accounting?[/QUOTE

The office administration clerks, but the attitude is there the we work in an office therefore we are better than you attitude. Oh we are on a 12 hour continental shift pattern as well so we work every other weekend.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:44 PM   #14
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I think we need to get back to PRODUCING something...not pushing papers. I think a college degree is excellent to have no matter what...unless it puts you heavily into debt, and in that case, I don't think the payoff is worth the debt unless you plan to be a doctor/lawyer/etc.

I feel sorry for a lot of my friends that get stuck with "the golden handcuffs." They move around the country in search of jobs that pay a certain amount and use their degree. There is something to be said for putting down roots, staying with family etc.

These are some random thoughts on the subject. I do not have a bachelors, nor does my DH. We are facing the same challenges and stresses as many of our college educated friends. My DH is a small business owner that produces a tangible ítem in the construction field. We are doing ok, and more importantly, were happy.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:49 PM   #15
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I think there is a lot of confusion about regarding wages and skills. I know a lot of college educated people who work at blue collar jobs because the pay is better than some white collar jobs. Eventually, the white collar job market will be saturated and a surplus of eduacated people will drive those salaries down (basic supply and demand). No matter what the econmy is, there will be always be a need for blue collar labor. We already have a better educated labor force. Somebody will always have to build all those office buildings and supply the utilities to them (once again, supply and demand will drive the work force).
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