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Manufacturing jobs in Alabama

The government says some 20 million Americans are still unemployed or under-employed— meaning they can’t get as much work as they’d like or need. Yet at the same time, firms nationwide say they’re having a difficult time filling millions of openings they do have. It’s partly because of what’s known as the “skills gap” — jobs that require more expertise than workers have.

The State of Alabama has a possible solution. It’s a program called Alabama Industrial Development and Training. Local  shipyard owners say they can’t find enough skilled workers around here who know how to do the things they need, to weld properly, to fit pipes.  And so the State of Alabama spent twelve million dollars to build a state of the art maritime training center. The idea is that if the shipyards can’t find enough workers to manufacture the ships, the State of Alabama is going to manufacture the workers.  Rick Karr went to Mobile to take a look at the program and assess its outcomes — which some critics say aren’t all they should be.


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    Main Street: Findlay, Ohio
    Need to Know travels to Ohio to assess how workers are faring after the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over the past 35 years.
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    Following the money: Tax breaks
    New CBO report echoes the findings of Need to Know's "A tale or four tax returns."
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      Certifiably employable
    Rick Karr recently visited Seattle to look at a program designed to give the unemployed the skills they need to find jobs in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.


  • Anonymous

    How could ANY media ignore the difference in collective bargaining regulations between Pennsylvania and Alabama? There are no more acutely distinctive states in the nation, and virtually on the globe, than these two, and your report completely ignores this most obvious – and regressive – distinction that contributes to industrial relocation by an unregulated, unjustified, and thoroughly regressive industrial elite. Not once does your report attend to this, the most obvious reason for industrial relocation in this particular industry.
    You prove, quite astonishingly, the most inflammatory arguments against contributing to PBS! Outrageously.

  • Fritz Korte

    Thank You, joebeckmann. I am truly grateful that i am not the only one floored by this GLARING and embarrassing omission (while interviewing the head of the HUMAN RESOURCE CENTER of the WHARTON business school, no less). I applaud your graceful suggestion that wage depression “contributes” to industrial relocation since i would suggest that wage depression is seminal, sometimes SINGULAR in the decision to play states one against another for a free ride to citizen serfdom. I also agree that this ommission is a prime example of a media credibility gap, but this strikes me as more of a lapse by this reporter than part of a pattern of planned deceit by PBS. Too bad embarrassment does not seem to be in the lexicon of media. or business or government. We would all be better off if it was.