Thursday, October 3, 2013

Made in Minnesota - Why not Oregon?

On Sunday, September 29, the New York Times 
 ran the second in a series of articles under the heading:  
   bringing to light a recent trend in manufacturing to take back jobs in the textile industry lost to overseas workers during the last 25 years.

The Times article goes on to explain; ‘The issue wasn’t poor demand for the curtains, pillows and other textiles being produced at the factory. Quite the opposite.’ ‘… Airtex Design Group had shifted an increasing amount of its production here from China because customers had been asking for more American-made goods.’

Minneapolis has pioneered a new movement: 
The Makers Coalition 
 in an ‘effort to create a skilled work force from scratch’. Businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and service providers have joined together to establish a nationally recognized apprentice program for sewing operations.

The Dunwoody College of Technology is now offering a full degree program to train and/or retrain workers of all ages, ethnicity or anyone transitioning from a previous career. - New hope for the large national population of workers who are still unemployed as a result of the recent economic slow down.

So why does the Portland area unemployment rate remain stubbornly at a high 7.3 percent, given the large number of sportswear and outdoor gear companies headquartered here?

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