Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

When Walmart pledged last year to buy an extra $250 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade, it appeared to be just what was needed to help move America's putative manufacturing renaissance from rhetoric to reality. But suppliers trying to reshore production as part of the initiative by the world's largest retailer are running into practical problems as they try to restart long-idled corners of U.S. manufacturing. "A lot of the tribal knowledge and skill sets are gone because the humans who used to do that work have either retired or died," says H. Kim Kelley, the CEO of Hampton Products International, a privately held maker of locks, lighting and other household hardware.

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Probably better to figure this all out while the nation is not involved in a major war than wait and find out we can't manufacture critical things needed to defend the nation. Outsourcing manufacturing is dangerous for our national security.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2014-06-04 10:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

"A lot of the tribal knowledge and skill sets are gone because the humans who used to do that work have either retired or died"

Not this crap again. Train people, you idiots. The expecation that people just naturally have skills that are specific to your manufacturing process is crazy.

#2 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-04 11:02 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Greedy corporations sitting on piles of cash are waiting for the government to train the employees for them.

#3 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-06-04 11:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

And your proof of that is?

#4 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-06-04 11:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

Well duh.

So Walmart is suffering from the impact Walmart had on the manufacturing sector. For decades they saw no problem in outsourcing to China the manufacturing of their products (or just didn't care in their quest to force the lowest cost down the supply chain).

Now they are surprised that the knowledge and component suppliers are gone.

Gosh no one could have ever foreseen this.

#5 | Posted by 726 at 2014-06-04 11:40 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Most of the food comes from the US. The rest, forget it. Not Walmart's fault, just the the way the market is, both on a demand and supply levels. You're not going to feed the food stamp user on Grey Poupon and offer them Versace. Now that being said, its all about competing and if US manufactures get their act together, Walmart can afford to pay a bit more and sacrifice margins for medium to low quality US goods in exchange for good PR.

#6 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-06-04 11:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

Walmart can afford to pay a bit more and sacrifice margins

Commie. :)

#7 | Posted by 726 at 2014-06-04 11:51 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

Who wants to work for peanuts?
When America was a manufacturing juggernaut, unions where at the height of their membership. People who made refrigerators made enough money to actually buy the refrigerator they manufactured.
Now it's all about pushing wages down, down, down. The Chamber of Commerce is no friend to people who work.
Just look at the ranting's of ideologues on this thread alone for evidence:
www.drudge.com

#8 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-06-04 12:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

I was in WAL*MART about six months ago. I bought beer, clothes hangars, an air filter for the car, Scotch tape, some nails, and I forget what the sixth small purchase was. Anyway, I was able to source Made in USA products for five of the six items; only the nails were exclusively from China.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-04 12:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

#4 | Posted by Sniper

If the companies were doing the training they wouldn't have this problem. I really need no proof other than lack of action with the obvious solution.

#10 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-06-04 01:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Walmart can afford to pay a bit more and sacrifice margins"

I think they will, in the end, make more money because more money than the extra cost will end up coming into their company. This is what I thought was the inherent problem with off-shoring.

Either way, I think this point temporary. People will be retrained, but 3D printing technology or something better will eventually overtake manufacturing and the idea of hiring humans to build things will become less and less important.

#11 | Posted by LEgregius at 2014-06-04 01:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

I heard the same thing from a company in Atlanta. They couldn't find the help to do the work any more.

Well, they had the right solution. They started an inhouse school and trained their new employees ~ with the promise of employment for those who graduated with satisfactory scores. They also provided a free day care center for women with children who needed to work outside the home.

No one can tell me it can't be done.

#12 | Posted by Twinpac at 2014-06-04 02:02 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Had Sam Walton, the Wal-Mart founder who made selling US made products a priority remained instead of the greedy kids, the USA economy would have benefited from Wal-Mart, instead of being destroyed by it.

#13 | Posted by Robson at 2014-06-04 03:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

I think some of you are missing the actual problem...

With this comment: "A lot of the tribal knowledge and skill sets are gone because the humans who used to do that work have either retired or died"

What he is saying is that nobody knows how to do the work here anymore period so there is nobody capable of training. It isn't a matter of "training" people to do the work it is a matter of finding people who are capable of doing it in the first place who can then train others. In some cases to make things at all you need someone with years of experience. Whether it is setting up machines, the proper process or quality control - someone with in depth knowledge of the product is required.

Lets look at a critical manufacturing industry - the mold and die industry. Mold and die makers create Molds that are filled with material to make things like buckets and dies that stamp materials to form something like a fender on a car. This was a dieing industry in the US 7-10 years ago. Most of it was going overseas. Maybe I am wrong but fortunately it appears to be a reinvigorated US industry. It is very technical, skilled and critical to manufacturing we absolutely need to keep this industry alive and thriving to manufacture here at all.

My organization is similar in that we do very technical work. It is feeling the pinch because the work our people do is technical and rather involved. On the surface it seems simple, but when you get into it - it is truly not simple. We had an older work force and recognized the need so we have been hiring for 6 years and as some of the more talented or specialized people retire we are seeing significant drop offs in productivity because a guy with 30 or 40 years just knows how to do things efficiently. We are producing the same or better quality but it is taking more time. A guy with a year or two of experience does not have nearly enough to be efficient. We have helped a local college build an apprenticeship program to build basic skills but that isn't even nearly enough.

So when you close that plant and the people disperse, it is over. They have to find other employment. Are they going to come back? HIGHLY doubtful. Would you come back to a company that closed your plant and sent the jobs to China 5 or 10 years ago? What kind of security do you think you would have? The whim of Walmart...

#14 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-06-04 04:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

"What he is saying is that nobody knows how to do the work here anymore period so there is nobody capable of training. It isn't a matter of "training" people to do the work it is a matter of finding people who are capable of doing it in the first place who can then train others."

How did they move the work to China in the first place? The Chinese didn't know how to do any of this work. They hired an American to go over there and train them.

Now they can hire someone overseas to come over and do the training here.

Or they can just be honest and admit they don't want to manufacture here.

#15 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-04 05:19 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Someone posted one of these anti-American "can't find anyone to do the work" articles here about a year ago that was the most ridiculous thing I've ever read.

It was about a woman who owned a small business (I think in the travel industry) that she "needed" to expand but couldn't because "Americans don't want to work".

If you actually read what the woman was saying she was upset that people who were willing to take the job for what she was paying didn't know the software she used, which was very specific to her industry. And people who did know the software wanted to be paid market value, which she was unwilling to pay. The only logical conclusion was that she was unwilling to make the investment necessary to expand her business and didn't want to admit as much. Her sense of entitlement was interesting but what I found more interesting was that someone heard her story and decided that this was a good example to use in their "Americans don't want to work" article. And then someone else read the article, didn't see the obvious logical flaws and reposted it here. Then several other people responded with more anti-American comments until others eventually came along and explained that this woman is not entitled to a workforce that has skills for which she is unwilling to pay market value.

Just always shocks me how many Americans are eager to throw their own country under the bus - even going as far as to use clearly ridiculous examples to promote their views.

#16 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-04 05:33 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

They hired an American to go over there and train them.

That's only a partial answer; in many situations, they also moved the manufacturing equipment. As a result, the problem with finding companies that build things in the US is not just about training, it is about having the equipment that can be used to build things.

This is one way that the administration can incentive companies to bring manufacturing back to the US: don't charge taxes on repatriated money that is used to set up new manufacturing facilities in the US. I would also couple this with a parallel effort to charge tariffs on manufactured goods imported into the US: a carrot and stick approach.

As big companies start to re-establish manufacturing in the US, smaller suppliers will spring up to support their efforts. Walmart can't do this on their own.

#17 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2014-06-05 09:30 AM | Reply | Flag:

www.chimneydirect.com

That company used to make everything in the US then a few years ago outsourced to china. Their quality went down and it wasn't 1 year till things like this: www.homedepot.com showed up on the market.

#18 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-06-05 09:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

"This is one way that the administration can incentive companies to bring manufacturing back to the US: don't charge taxes on repatriated money that is used to set up new manufacturing facilities in the US. I would also couple this with a parallel effort to charge tariffs on manufactured goods imported into the US: a carrot and stick approach."

Sounds like a good plan, which is why our government will never do anything like this.

#19 | Posted by sully at 2014-06-05 10:14 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Little other than drugs are truly made in the USA anymore. By the time the American empire is done murdering all the indigenous populations who object to it stealing their resources just about the only thing that is not imported is #$%^ and air; not even movies.

#20 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-06-05 12:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Hillary sat on the board of directors at WalMart while her husband sent our jobs to China.

#21 | Posted by shirtsbyeric at 2014-06-05 12:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Hillary sat on the board of directors at WalMart while her husband sent our jobs to China.

I hope that there is some democrat that will run against her. I don't want her to finish the work that her husband started i.e. NAFTA, outsourcing, banking deregulation, etc.

#22 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2014-06-05 12:43 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

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