Today’s blog was actually intended for publication during the week prior to Christmas.  However, because ITC’s beautiful new website was under construction, it was postponed.

Anyway, here it finally is. 

I want to share a couple of December’s “interesting to read” items that expanded my awareness on issues currently facing American training and education. 

Manufacturing jobs and industrial training (by implication) is the subject of the first piece:

“The nation shed manufacturing jobs at a steady pace over most of the last quarter century. A combination of trade deals, automation and economic recessions sent the number of manufacturing jobs plummeting, with 6 million jobs being lost by 2011.

 But since then, about half a million jobs have been regained. 

They’re not the same jobs that left. They’re not coming back everywhere, or even in the same places where jobs were lost.  .  .  .

 .  .  . With new, advanced manufacturing jobs arising in pocket areas nationwide, a new kind of manufacturing worker, one with a college degree as well as advanced technical skills, is needed.

 Communities that have landed these jobs often credit local job training programs, in partnership with community colleges and other schools, with helping build worker skills.

 Peter Morici, a University of Maryland business professor, economist and conservative commentator, said more than 2 million jobs could return to the country if there are changes in trade policy, regulatory burdens and taxes.

 However, those who want the jobs will have to compete for them.

“Workers don’t have a right to these jobs,” he said. “They have to train themselves. They have to earn these jobs by being productive.” 

(“Manufacturing jobs are returning to some places. But these jobs are different” by Ted Mellnik and Chris Alcantara, The Washington Post)

The second article discusses an unaddressed need in our public schools:

“Marion Brady is a veteran educator who has long argued that public schools in the United States need a paradigm shift. The core curriculum, he says, does not meet the needs of today’s students, and schools fail to do the most important thing they should be doing. He explains in the following post.  .  .  .

 .  .  . Prepare the young for college and careers. Promote democratic citizenship. Keep the United States economically competitive. Master the core subjects. Transmit societal values. Instill a love of learning.


Those are six of about 30 aims for schooling I’ve found in academic journal articles.

 On my list, one aim is paramount: “Maximize learner ability to make sense.” Not only does it enable every other legitimate aim of educating, it gives schooling its proper focus—maximizing human potential.

 No one needs to be taught how to make sense — to think. We’re born equipped to do it. The challenge is to do it better, to radically improve what are sometimes called “higher order” thinking skills, particularly those involved in tracing complex causal sequences and anticipating possible unintended consequences of well-intended policies and actions.  .  .  .”  (“The most important thing schools don’t do” by Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post)

More on Monday –  –  –

    Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning 
(Mondays & Wednesdays)
(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)