Over at Community College Spotlight, I look at a 28-week training program in precision machining at a Connecticut college that qualified graduates to compete with laid-off machinists for a shrinking number of jobs. The U.S. Labor Department funded the training because it thought machinist was a high-growth job. When the recession’s really and truly over, it probably will be.
During the boom, I interviewed a machine-shop operator who was willing to train his own machinists. He asked only for math skills and the willingness to show up every day on time ready to work. He was a big fan of Vietnamese immigrants, despite their poor English skills. He said they know math and they show up.