How Can We Recruit the Next Generation to Fill New-collar Jobs in American Manufacturing?

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The Industrial Age — from about 1760 to 1840 — ushered in an era of great innovation and social change. Ordinary people found job opportunities in factories, and the middle class rose in power. The U.S. was able to rebuild after World War II thanks to manufacturing. Not long after, in 1949, private higher-education institutions reached a new pinnacle, and as schools were run for profit, there began a greater marketing push to position college education as the key to the American Dream. As part of his Great Society agenda, President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” There began a culture and class divide between those with higher education and those with trade-school training, those with desk jobs and those on the factory floor, those with white-collar jobs and those with blue-collar jobs.

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