Jon Kremsky’s letter about exporting jobs identifies the concern of many unemployed chemists (C&EN, July 25, page 5).
With sales and competition as the main concerns of several companies, using cheaper labor and lower operating costs overseas is rising. The discipline of chemistry is becoming more nonessential with inexperienced, lower cost personnel filling many positions.
Quality has taken on a new meaning for many companies. It seems they would rather do business overseas and use cheaper labor to perform more inspections, which does not produce an acceptable product at a higher degree. Although the use of lower cost labor on the production floor is possible, the responsibility of management to obtain the resources to properly train these workers seems to fall through the cracks. Perhaps, though, my point of view is slightly skewed from my past 10 years of observing industry practices.
What the U.S. needs to do is better train its people and have a suitable pay scale to operate in a competitive manner. Processes need to be optimized so that better quality product is continuously produced and statistical sampling techniques can be used to reduce inspections. The responsibility for making a quality product should be everyone’s throughout the process.
I am hopeful that these concerns will be addressed and that the U.S. will once again appreciate its workforce. Then the country will once again be a leader in manufacturing.
By Cosmo V. Sabatino