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‘Cheers’ Actor John Ratzenberger Urges: We Need More Skilled Labor Jobs to Preserve Civilization



John Ratzenberger, best known for his roles in shows like “Cheers” and movies like “Toy Story,” has shifted his focus towards advocating for skilled labor jobs in America. In a recent interview, Ratzenberger stressed the importance of trade jobs and labor skills, which he believes are not as valued as they used to be. He expressed concerns about the lack of awareness among younger generations about basic skills like fixing things, changing a tire, or using tools, warning that this could have dire consequences for civilization.

The shortage of manufacturing and skilled labor jobs in America has reached a critical point, especially in the post-COVID-19 era. According to a report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, up to 3.8 million additional employees will be needed in the manufacturing sector between 2024 and 2033. However, only a fraction of that need may be met, with as many as 1.9 million jobs remaining unfilled if manufacturers do not address the skills and applicant gaps. Failing to fill these jobs could potentially hurt the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing industry on a global scale.

Ratzenberger, who was a carpenter before becoming an actor, has been warning about this labor skills shortage for the past 20 years. He has been advocating for the importance of teaching children how to use tools and acquire basic manufacturing skills. He highlighted the shift in cultural attitudes towards skilled labor, noting that in the 60s, there was a negative perception towards people who worked with their hands. He emphasized the need to elevate the dignity of skilled laborers in society, referring to them as essential workers who play a crucial role in society.

Ratzenberger attributed the decline in labor skills to the increasing conveniences of modern life, which have reduced the need for people to acquire these skills. He emphasized the importance of learning basic skills for survival, drawing comparisons to the diverse skill set required in the past for tasks like raising animals or working with leather. As part of his advocacy efforts, Ratzenberger urged universities to introduce classes that teach people how to fix things, like automotive repair classes. He encouraged individuals to take classes in manual arts colleges or high schools to learn practical skills.

In addition to advocating for labor skills, Ratzenberger recommended individuals to explore classes that teach manufacturing skills, such as boat building classes, which offer a wide range of skills from working with wood to setting up electrical wiring. He emphasized that learning these skills is not difficult and requires muscle memory. By promoting the value of skilled labor and encouraging individuals to acquire manufacturing skills, Ratzenberger aims to address the growing gap in the labor market and ensure the sustainability of the manufacturing industry in the United States.

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