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Automation and Offshoring - The Engine That Drives Fear (Megatrends 2012)

Posted By Richard Yeagley, December 01, 2011 at 9:55 AM, in Category: Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

Although roboticsand technological innovation will undoubtedly attract the youthful "tinkers" (even if they are at a minimum), how does the manufacturing sector expect to attract anyone outside of that bright and engineer-oriented "2%" when the three most pervasive words espoused in the industry are automation, offshoring, and productivity?

These three words invariably have negative connotations to the average person seeking employment (although quite paradoxically they are music to the ears of executives, supplychain managers, and shareholders). The implication of all three words is “less jobs, better return on investment, and cheaper consumer goods”, but with an emphasis (from the perspective of the average citizen) on less jobs. If this is a false premise (with evidence shows that manufacturing in America could benefit from future economic positions; and that productivity gains could be passed down to workers and not only consumers and owners of capital) then who intends to inform and encourage the younger generations that the three words: automation, offshoring, and productivity, can have a positive impact on manufacturing workers in America, and in turn offer our youth a legitimate and stable career.

Secondly, does anyone feel that our post-industrial mindset (our fixation on design,marketing, entertainment, and service based jobs) can be reversed in one generation? Or has it been so ingrained in the millennial generation that even their (my) kids will be ill-suited for “industrial”/manufacturing jobs?

Written by Richard Yeagley


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