In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC’s “Rock Center,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States.
This is big news. Also check out the Bloomberg Businessweek interview as well. We are going to be getting a new iMac for video editing, we’re going to try to see if it’s possible to specifically request the made in America ones when we do.
This is good news, and it is interesting that his reason for the lack of such manufacturing in the USA is lack of skills.
As an industrial automation professional for nearly 30 years, I see the effects of this every day. I work very closely with Japanese automobile manufacturers and suppliers that have plants in the US. Many of them are located in very remote, rural locations in states that have promised favorable business conditions. Needless to say, there is rarely a sustainable pool of skilled workers where these plants are located.
In the heyday of Industrial Mid-West, children followed their parents into the skilled trades because there was the promise of a well-paying job after putting in their time as apprentices and journeymen. That, of course, did not happen overnight. Unfortunately, what did happen overnight was the loss of these skilled workers once manufacturing was lost to other areas. With no more opportunity, who in their right mind would put 10 years into a trade that may never materialize as a career?
I’m curious to see where Apple’s initiative goes. It takes a certain amount of basic education before one is ready for the additional training required to work in a highly-automated electronics manufacturing environment. A company with the stature, funding and market share of Apple might be able to provide the promise of a future to coming generations. We’ll see.
@ESG – that may be very well for the auto industry. But if you take a broader survey you can see places like NE Corridor (DC to Mass.) and the North Carolina Tech Triangle where you have the technical base and the assembly folks together to make for successful ventures. Location, Location, Location as they say and the US does have many suitable locations and people with technical skills. Now we need to keep our STEM efforts up to ensure the technical pipeline I would concede that.
Yes, Mike- that is the $64,000 question. Where are they gonna put it? As you pointed out, there are lots of possibilities.
BTW, STEM is absolutely necessary, but the sad reality is, well-trained workers demand higher wages, which some companies are reluctant to pay. I’ve known many companies that found out the hard way that you only get what you pay for.
Regardless, I don’t want to discourage young people from any STEM-related career, be it technical or engineering because of possible career/salary disappointments. One must do what they love doing, and not worry about the bucks. I am an engineer because I couldn’t imagine being anything else. I may not be the richest guy on the block, but I have loved what I do every day of my career, and you can’t put a price-tag on that.
Nonetheless, I remain cautiously optimistic, and wish Apple all success in this new venture.