Following his announcement Thursday that he will challenge Nancy Pelosi and run for House Minority Leader, Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio) appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday morning to talk about American manufacturing jobs and the Democratic Party’s role moving forward to address the needs of the working class.
Watch what he had to say:
Ryan’s view that there needs to be a charge towards fostering advancements in manufacturing and new areas of manufacturing as a resource for new jobs is on point, however, his skeptical view that workers “don’t want to run a computer, they want to run a backhoe” is what got us here in the first place. There are some areas of working class jobs that will go away and won’t come back, and giving people the opportunities to get the training or the skills they will need to be successful in the new workforce is the direction we need to be focused on. AmeriCorps has demonstrated success in this area with its VISTA members in Eastern Kentucky teaching out-of-work coal miners the workplace skills needed for the jobs of the future.
An issue that Ryan neglected to mention, where there also needs to be a charge, is the skills gap problem. There are plenty of skilled jobs that are available, but no one qualified to fill them. There needs to be a focus on companies like Toyota and organizations like Year Up that are figuring out ways to address this problem and use those as a blueprint for solutions.
For more on this subject, see our engaging discussion, The Table.