December's "Welding Wire" e-newsletter featured an item about the book "Closing America's Job Gap" that describes new jobs being shaped by innovations in science and technology and how people need to learn "new skills" to attain these jobs. In this book, University of California San Diego researchers, Mary Walshok, Tapan Munroe, and Henry DeVries, contend that America's job crisis is not simply that there are too few good jobs to go around; but, rather there are not enough good workers for the multitude of jobs that U.S. companies need to fill today or will soon become available.
Walshok, a sociologist who has done research for the U.S. Department of labor and the dean of continuing education at USCD, said, "The future is bright if job seekers can figure out how to align continuing education with America's areas of successful innovation. The array of job opportunities is dazzling for workers who are willing to be retrained."
According to the book, No. 10 among the top innovative sectors to consider is: Repurposing America's skilled and technical workers for 'new economy' applications — welders, pipe fitters, and mechanics. Nearly 100 percent of welding school graduates find jobs. The average welder is nearing retirement, with twice as many welders retiring as being trained.
Welding Wire surveyed its subscribers — members of the welding community — to see if their real-world experiences backed up the research findings. (more...)