The strong U.S. dollar, as a global currency, kept interest rates low in America, therefore allowing it to become very cheap for the United States to import Chinese and other foreign goods. As a result, the United States became a society with huge imports and an insatiable appetite for consumption.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. manufacturing industry had become a global power as a result of strong work ethics and a highly productive and quality oriented mindset.
Manufacturing at that time was supported heavily by research and development efforts with funding from both private businesses and the government. The U.S. had generated the highest percentage of math, science and technology graduates of all time. Students within the U.S. ranked in top math and science categories on a global basis.
Manufacturing in Asian countries has lately become more expensive and cumbersome due to rising labor costs, poor quality, corruption and bureaucracy. As a result, high-tech manufacturing has started shifting back to the United States. The challenge going forward for this country, however, is to provide a highly educated and skilled workforce, enabling them to compete in today’s high-tech environment. Currently, the percentage of the U.S. students graduating with science, math or engineering degrees is much lower (less than 20 percent) than in past years (40 percent 50 years ago). In math and science, U.S. students rank much lower statistically globally.
It becomes more apparent every day that we must create curriculums within our primary and secondary schools with stronger focus on science and math.
Local technology centers, colleges and high schools must work together towards developing technology certificate programs for our students. Schools must employ world class teachers who are compensated with appropriate salaries.
Colleges and universities must also focus more on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Businesses and schools must work together to prepare America’s future workforce.