National Public Radio has been running a solid series this week on the economy, especially the obstacles to recovery, with Tuesday’s report focusing on shortage of skilled employees who can fill the (darn good) jobs in high-tech manufacturing. From All Things Considered, “To Fill Job Skills, Firm Brings Training In House“:

Some people might think that working in a metal-parts factory would mean wearing greasy overalls and laboring in a dimly lit and potentially dangerous place. “People have an image of a dark, smoky factory with a dirt floor with metal parts flying everywhere,” says Carl Pasciuto, president of the Custom Group, a manufacturing company outside Boston.

In reality, today’s advanced manufacturing facilities like Custom Group’s factory look more like well-lit, clean airplane hangars full of super-high-tech equipment.

“There’s probably $2 million worth of machines in your eyeshot right here,” Pasciuto says from a corner of the factory floor. “That’s what’s necessary to survive.”

Countering that image has been one of tasks of the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute through partnerships with local companies, educational institutions, and worforce development groups in the Institute’s “Dream It Do It” campaign. The program continues its steady growth nationally. The latest effort was announced in October in Carson City, Nev.:

The Manufacturing Institute and the Northern Nevada Development Authority announced the deployment of a national initiative to revitalize Nevada’s workforce and economy.  Developed by the Institute in 2005, Dream It. Do It. uses cutting-edge marketing to inform students, transitioning workers and military servicemen and women about exciting career opportunities in manufacturing and other key sectors to our community such as construction, healthcare, mining, renewable energy, public service and many others.