A while back (in 2006) I wrote an editorial titled "Would you want your kid to do this job?" If you want to re-read it, or read it now for the first time, here's the URL:
Recently, a reader named Bob Kluck sent me a comment on it:
A lot of similarities between the way I started working with my dad in Instrumentation and your experiences. Given the path of the economy, I could have done far worse.
The tough thing about getting people excited about the joy of manufacturing is that the Hyper-Globalists allowed so much of it to leave our shores. In New Jersey, many of the chemical plants, and almost all of the small chemical plants are gone. A key benefit I’ve gained from following my father’s footsteps is that I have seen a lot more than most of my peers.. to borrow terms from the new Malcolm Gladwell book (Outliers), it gave me the chance to have my 10,000 hours in Instrumentation in before I was 25, and it is a huge advantage to truly understanding the business. The problem my children would face is that so many of the places I gained that experience are gone. I especially lament the places that were small enough where a kid in and/or just out of College with just a little knowledge could be of value to them, and himself…they were the Piper Cubs of Instrumentation. What is left here is the equivalent of 777’s and F-18’s.
Hopefully, the Obama administration will focus on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US...and with them the opportunity to have those experiences again.