President Barack Obama talked up manufacturing jobs as a worthwhile pursuit for young people, even after the struggles weathered by U.S. industry in recent years.
Taking his State of the Union message on the road to Wisconsin, the president talked up skilled trades, and signed a directive to have Vice President Joe Biden lead a comprehensive review of federal job training programs.
"Not all of today’s good jobs need a four-year degree. But the ones that don’t need a college degree do need some specialized training," Obama said at a General Electric gas engine factory in Waukesha, Wis.
"A lot of parents, unfortunately, maybe when they saw a lot of manufacturing being offshored, told their kids you don’t want to go into the trades, you don’t want to go into manufacturing because you’ll lose your job," Obama further explained. "Well, the problem is that a lot of young people don’t see the skilled trades and manufacturing as a viable career. But I promise you, folks make a lot more – potentially – with the skilled trades and manufacturing than with an art history degree."
The president otherwise reiterated some of the highlights from his speech on Tuesday, speaking about education, equal pay for women and a higher minimum wage. The president will touch upon similar themes when he visits Tennessee later this afternoon. Thursday's trip marked the second day of Obama's post-State of the Union tour.