There is a mystery at the heart of Midwestern manufacturing. As the recession ebbs, manufacturing in the Midwest is growing. But the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen and stays low. There are a lot of manufacturing workers who want work. But manufacturing executives say they have empty jobs and can't find workers to fill them.
This is a mystery that has to be solved. It's called the "skills gap" -- the idea that there are good jobs available but few skilled workers. The future of manufacturing and education both depends on finding out whether manufacturing is going to be part of the Midwest economy, and how many people it will employ.