We should all look forward to the impending fall of the wall between business and education. That wall has separated the two sectors for many years, but the pressure of global economic competition is leading many to plan for that barrier’s demise. The historical separation is between business and that sector of the educational system responsible for the 75% or so of high school students who are not likely to earn a college baccalaureate degree. These students eventually comprise the majority of America’s front-line workforce, and the prosperity of this country depends on them.

Compared to other countries, American front-line workers lag far behind in the sophisticated skills needed in order for a country to compete internationally: communications, math, science, conceptualplant-workforce thinking, flexibility, responsiveness, and technological expertise. These are skills that most front-line workers in Japan and European countries like Germany possess, to the ultimate economic benefit of their countries.

What these other nations have learned about education and the workforce has been translated into comprehensive public education programs for the non-college-bound student. These programs all but obliterate the conventional lines between education and training.

America’s blue collar workforce is our lifeblood. These smart, talented individuals create, build and mold this nation’s future. They are among our leading citizens and have earned the highest respect from all of us.

Without a highly trained workforce we will find ourselves at a disadvantage to the rest of the developing world. The people who merely trade paper back and forth will be of little help if the needs of our blue-collar population are ignored. They built this country.

With that in mind, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the new HBO documentary, “The Last Truck,” which is being shown throughout this September.
This excellent documentary is about the General Motors truck assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio, outside Dayton, which closed a couple of days before Christmas last year, leaving 2,200 workers and 200 managers without jobs.
After viewing “The Last Truck,” one cannot fail to comprehend the pride, excellence and craftsmanship of this country’s most important asset – its blue-collar workforce.
— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning