Eric Spiegel

President and CEO, Siemens Corporation

There are two basic challenges that need to be addressed. First, America has a training gap. Yes, I know it’s more common to say that we have a skills gap at a time when American industry is struggling to fill thousands of open positions. But in truth, it’s not a skills gap, it’s a training gap. Until we put the burden on those who train rather than those who need to be trained, we’ll never solve this problem.

The second challenge is related to the first: Modern manufacturing, for lack of a better term, has a branding problem. It has an image problem, especially with younger workers. This is not your father’s manufacturing revolution. This is not the industry of strong backs and soiled hands that Saul Bellow wrote about. This is the most sophisticated, forward-looking and innovative business function in the world today.