Secretary Jane Oates Addresses Manufacturing Summit, Gives Conferees "Homework Assignment"

Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken underscored the importance of manufacturing to their home state and to the U. S. Economy at the Manufacturing Summit held November 9 at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington. Both spoke of the pressing need for high skilled workers as American manufacturing exits the recession.

Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates restated her commitment to apprenticeship and industry credentials in support of manufacturing and asked the conferees for their help. “I’m giving you a homework assignment, said Secretary Oates.

She gave the assignment in three parts. The first was to suggest a Public Ad Campaign about today’s manufacturing jobs, agreeing with other speakers and the conferees that manufacturing and its jobs are not well known by the American public. She said we need to let the community know that manufacturing is a “thinking person’s’ game.

The second request was to solicit strategies in support of small manufacturers. Secretary Oates said she wants to be sure that the publically funded workforce system is doing its job in support of manufacturing.

For the third assignment, she asked “How do we make sure we are touting the earnings in manufacturing?”

View and hear Secretary Oates entire presentation, as well as the Senators, at

Please express your thoughts and ideas regarding Secretary Oates’ homework request to NIMS Executive Director Stephen Mandes at