This sector could have a half million job openings and opportunities for older workers


Although the coronavirus continues to rattle global markets and industries, some analysts expect to see greater demand for advanced manufacturing talent in the U.S. as the pandemic diminishes. That could create opportunities for older men and women, including white-collar professionals struggling to find jobs.

Before COVID-19, there were 500,000 manufacturing jobs open in the U.S., according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “We’re going to have a need very quickly to ramp up on hiring in those facilities that may have been shut down during the crisis or that need to expand operations,” said NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons in a recent press conference.


“The fact that one can get a certificate in about nine months and totally re-career into a nearly guaranteed job is an incredible opportunity for an older worker.”


— Nora Duncan, Connecticut state director of AARP

As manufacturers frantically try to keep up again with demand for essentials and lifesaving PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for health care workers as cases rise across the country, their innovation and high-tech problem-solving could help dispel misconceptions that all manufacturing jobs are dirty and physically demanding, said Sara Tracey, project manager of workforce services for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association in Akron, Ohio.

Manufacturing jobs and what they pay

Entry-level manufacturing jobs in industries such as aerospace, technology and defense include CNC operators, set-up technicians and programmers, as well as inspectors, higher-end assembly technicians and quality assurance.

The pay typically ranges between $35,000 and $65,000, including overtime and benefits, said Richard DuPont, director of community and campus relations for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Conn. More experienced professionals can earn upward of $95,000.

80% of older Americans can’t afford to retire – COVID-19 isn’t helping

In Ohio, manufacturers have been training and moving some workers into higher positions so the companies can hire and train new candidates for vacated ones, Tracey noted. Resources such as the Making Ohio website let people explore careers in manufacturing, including robotics, automation and 3-D printing.

Industrial maintenance is an important career pathway these days, as well, Tracey said. This sector is expecting more retirements in the near future, which will create jobs from “traditional machine mechanics to troubleshooting state-of-the-art electronic or robotic processes,” Tracey noted.

Also see: Cannabis, whiskey, and mobile bike repair: These entrepreneurs are thriving in the pandemic

Connecticut, among other states, now offers training programs with community colleges, state manufacturers and other organizations.

From banking to precision tools

This kind of training helped Allison Clemens-Roberts, who is over 50, find work after losing her clerical job in the pensions department of a Connecticut bank in 2017. A severance package gave her time to look for work, but she couldn’t find even temporary employment. She blames age discrimination by white-collar employers.

“There’s no way to hide how old you are. They can ask when you graduated from school,” Clemens-Roberts said.

But while she was out of work, Clemens-Roberts received a postcard from AARP offering a 25% tuition scholarship on advanced manufacturing programs at Goodwin University, a career-focused school in East Hartford, Conn.

She wasn’t interested until her husband Frank saw a TV commercial touting the benefits of Goodwin’s manufacturing and other programs.

“He said, ‘Why don’t you think about changing careers?’” Clemens-Roberts recalled.

So, with several months left on her severance, she enrolled in a full-time, six-month CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining, Metrology and Manufacturing Technology certification program. It would prepare her for a job working with automated machine tools which requires mathematical skills, attention to detail and critical thinking.

SectorWatch: 80% of older Americans can’t afford to retire – COVID-19 isn’t helping

Scholarships cut Clemens-Roberts’ tuition bill from $7,000 to $3,200. After a two-month paid internship at TOMZ, a manufacturer of precision components for major medical devices in Berlin, Conn., she was hired in April 2019. Six months later, TOMZ reimbursed Clemens-Roberts $1,500 for her education tab.

Clemens-Roberts said her family is now in a better financial position than when she was working in a bank, living paycheck-to-paycheck. Considered an essential worker, she has kept her full-time job through the pandemic, except for three days in March.

“I never thought I would go to college and participate in a graduation — in cap and gown,” Clemens-Roberts said. “That was a big surprise. And [actor] Danny Glover was the speaker. A bucket-list experience.”

There’s “obviously age discrimination, among other things, at play” for job seekers over 50, said Nora Duncan, Connecticut state director of AARP. “The fact that one can get a certificate in about nine months and totally re-career into a nearly guaranteed job is an incredible opportunity for an older worker.”

While AARP helped Clemens-Roberts pay for the tuition initially, the internship helped her get hired as a machine operator.

Older and younger manufacturing workers helping each other

The search for skilled manufacturing labor across the country is creating opportunities for workers of all ages, said DuPont. And older and younger generations working together are assisting each other.

The older students help younger classmates with life skills, while younger students can help with technology,” said DuPont. “Together, they make excellent teams.”

Don’t miss: How will the robots see you through the pandemic?

Just ask Fernando Vega, 62, who is now a quality inspector at Forrest Machine, in Berlin, Conn. It makes precision-machined parts and other components for the aerospace and commercial industries. In the 1990s, he was a quality inspector before recessions and outsourcing forced him to consider other careers.

He tried working for a nonprofit and though Vega found the work rewarding, it wasn’t financially sustainable.

So, Vega went back to school in spring 2018 to study advanced manufacturing at Goodwin.

“I was in a class of 18, and at first everyone kept to themselves. But when it came time to read blueprints, there was some panic and I said, ‘Don’t panic, I’ll show you.’ The [younger] students helped me with trigonometry, and then we started to work together.”

Vega has worked at his manufacturing job throughout the pandemic. At one point, he was putting in 50 hours a week, but that was reduced to 40 hours plus overtime.

Vega recalled promising his mother that he would go to college. “But that was a long time ago,” he said. His mother never got to see him graduate but Vega feels he’s fulfilled his promise — not only to her, but also to himself. “I love my job,” he said.



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Job trouble? Wave of rehiring after economy reopened to fade in July after viral spiral


The engine of the U.S. economy may have gotten clogged again — no thanks to the recent acceleration in coronavirus cases. That’s bad news for Americans hoping to return to their old jobs.

Just how much damage has been done will become more evident this week, especially from the U.S. employment report for July due next Friday. The number of jobs regained last month is unlikely to match the huge increases in May and June that totaled a combined 7.5 million.

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economists predict the U.S. added about 1.5 million jobs in July.

Even that estimate may be inflated though by seasonal changes in educational employment at the state and local level, Morgan Stanley contends. Private-sector jobs could increase by less than one million, the investment bank calculated.

See: MarketWatch Economic Calendar

Whatever the case, a much smaller increase in hiring or rehiring in July would bode ill for the U.S. recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The government last week reported that gross domestic product sank a whopping 32.9% in the second quarter on an annualized basis, the biggest decline since World War Two.

Read: Economy suffers titanic 32.9% plunge in 2nd quarter, points to drawn-out recovery

Also:‘A massive welfare economy’ – federal aid prevents even steeper GDP collapse

“The big question hovering over next week’s employment report is whether the two-month surge in job gains stopped in July,” says David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth Management. He thinks that’s exactly what happened.

It will be hard for the economy to make up a lot of lost ground in the third quarter unless hiring snaps back even faster.

See:MarketWatch Coronavirus Recovery Tracker

The U.S. lost a record 22 million jobs in March and April, according to Labor Department data. So far the economy has recovered less than one-third of those jobs.

The weekly tally of jobless claims, meanwhile, showed an even higher 30 million unemployed people were collecting benefits as of mid-July, representing about one in five Americans who said they were working before the pandemic, according to a Labor Department survey of households.

Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said many people who expect to return to work are going to find they have no jobs or businesses to which they can return, a “grim reminder” of how much long-term damage the pandemic has caused.

“In the long run we are going to see a sobering slowdown in job growth,” he said.

The still-high level of unemployment, the viral spiral, and the uncertainty over whether Washington will provide more financial aid has understandably made Americans feel less confidence. On Friday Congressional lawmakers were still at odds on the next relief package with many benefits set to expire at the end of July.

A variety of measures that monitor consumer attitudes show a clear deterioration in July that’s likely to bleed over into August. That will make a recovery even harder.

Read:Consumer confidence wanes in July and points to rockier economic recovery

And:Consumer sentiment falls as coronavirus cases rise and federal aid set to expire

The news might not all be negative next week, however.

Manufacturers — auto makers in particular — have shown more resilience than the service side of the economy. The closely followed ISM manufacturing survey could show improvement for the third straight month.

The housing industry has also snapped back faster than expected amid a surge in home sales. Prospective buyers with secure jobs are taking advantage of record-low interest rates to buy new homes, a trend that may have been fueled by people fleeing the closed spaces of cities with a high number of coronavirus cases.

Even that potential bit of good news, however, has been overshadowed by the broader damage to the economy from the latest spike in coronavirus cases in many American states.

A full recovery can’t take root and blossom, economists say, until the disease is brought under control.

See: Pandemic will continue for some time, experts tell Congress as U.S. case tally nears 4.5 million



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Burger chain Byron reaches deal to sell itself, resulting in 651 job losses By Reuters


© Reuters.

By Kanishka Singh and Vishal Vivek

(Reuters) – British burger chain Byron reached a deal to sell itself and in the process is permanently closing over half of its 51 outlets, as well as cutting 651 jobs, the company’s administrators said on Friday.

Under the rescue deal, the remaining 20 sites and 551 staff will transfer to a new owner, Calverton UK, according to the emailed statement.

“After exploring a number of options to safeguard the future of the business and following a competitive sales process, this transaction ensures Byron will continue to have a presence on our high streets,” said Will Wright, an administrator at KPMG who sold the chain.

No financial details of the deal were disclosed but the administrators said that Byron’s existing investors will take a minority stake in the business.

The development comes as the coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on restaurants and restaurant chains across the world due to government restrictions on people’s movements as well as consumer fears about large public gatherings.

Earlier this month, Azzurri Group, the owner of Zizzi and Ask Italian restaurant chains, reached a deal to close 75 of its branches, putting 1,200 jobs at risk in the middle of the pandemic.

Britain’s death toll from COVID-19 is over 55,000 when deaths from suspected cases are included, and it has the highest “excess death” rate in Europe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday postponed a planned easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England after a rise in infections amplified fears of a second deadly surge in COVID-19 cases.

Britain reported 846 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily number in over a month.

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Trump vs. Fauci: The president says, ‘He was wrong’; the doctor responds, ‘Everybody thinks I’m doing more than an outstanding job’


The war of words between the Trump administration and Anthony Fauci, one of the leading experts on pandemics in the U.S. for the last four decades, continues. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, President Trump said there was no campaign to discredit Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for three decades.

Wallace asked Trump about a Facebook
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post by Daniel Scavino, White House deputy chief of staff for communications, depicting Fauci as a faucet with the description: “Sorry, Dr. Faucet! At least you know if I’m going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it’s done publicly — and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks.” Trump did not quite dismiss Scavino’s criticisms.


‘Well, I don’t know that he’s a leaker. He’s a little bit of an alarmist. That’s OK. A little bit of an alarmist.’


— President Donald Trump on Anthony Fauci

The president suggested that the doctor mishandled the crisis: “Dr. Fauci at the beginning said, ‘This will pass. Don’t worry about it. This will pass.’ He was wrong.” Trump also said the doctor said, “ ‘Don’t ban China. Don’t ban China.’ I did. He then admitted that I was right.”

On April 13, when reporters questioned Fauci about possible tension between him and the White House, Fauci said he made recommendations to Trump to restrict travel. “And the answer was yes,” Fauci said. “And then another time was, ‘We should do it with Europe,’ and the answer was yes. And the next time, ‘We should do it with the U.K.,’ and the answer was yes.”

CityWatch:CDC confirms that coronavirus already spreading in New York City when European travel ban went into effect in March

Speaking to Wallace on the Sunday program, Trump also said, “I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody [wears] a mask everything disappears.” The president has rarely worn a mask in public and has not said Americans should do so. In a break with his tradition of eschewing any face covering, he wore one last weekend while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Several aides and allies tweeted their insistence that the masked Trump was showing leadership and political strength.)

Related:Fauci takes aim at Trump, state lawmakers and young Americans: ‘You’re propagating the pandemic’

Fauci has taken a more defiant tone of late, telling InStyle magazine, “With all due modesty, I think I’m pretty effective. I certainly am energetic. And I think everybody thinks I’m doing more than an outstanding job.” He said he evolved with the situation: “I don’t regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct.”

He said, “We were told in our task-force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs and masks for the health providers who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to take care of sick people,” adding, “When it became clear that the infection could be spread by asymptomatic carriers … we had to strongly recommend masks.”


Fauci has said that the U.S. government should promote social distancing and could do better with contact tracing.

The doctor also said SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19, will continue to spread unless everyone steps up their game. Fauci said that many states have reopened too quickly, and, addressing people who don’t advocate social distancing, he said, “You’re propagating the pandemic.”

As of Sunday afternoon, COVID-19 had infected at least 14.3 million people globally and 3.7 million in the U.S. It had killed over 602,886 people worldwide and at least 140,128 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Fauci has repeatedly said that the U.S. government should promote social distancing and could do better with contact tracing, the process of tracking people who have been in contact with someone who has the virus, and instructing them to stay home for 14 days. “I don’t think we’re doing very well, for a number of reasons, and not all of which is the fault of the system.”

Related:Defiant Fauci tells InStyle magazine: ‘With all due modesty, I think I’m pretty effective’

The World Health Organization currently estimates that 16% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can transmit the coronavirus, while other data show that 40% of coronavirus transmission is due to carriers not displaying symptoms of the illness. As a result, public health officials have advised people to keep a distance of 6 feet from one another.

A recent University of California, San Francisco, study found that there’s a high load of SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the upper respiratory tract, even among pre-symptomatic patients, “which distinguishes it from SARS-CoV-1, where replication occurs mainly in the lower respiratory tract.” Such a viral load makes symptom-based detection of infection less effective in the case of SARS CoV-2, it said.

The markets appear torn between optimism on vaccine research and the economic impact of new surges in southern and southwestern states. The Dow Jones Industrial Index
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closed lower Friday, though stocks posted modest weekly gains, as investors looked toward the prospect of further fiscal stimulus. The S&P 500
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and Nasdaq Composite
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ended up slightly.

How COVID-19 is transmitted



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Defiant Fauci tells InStyle magazine: ‘I think everybody thinks I’m doing more than an outstanding job’


Anthony Fauci is on a mission to get more Americans to take COVID-19 seriously.

In an interview with InStyle magazine, in which he posed wearing sunglasses and stars-and-stripes socks, Fauci said this of his original advice to not wear face masks: “I don’t regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct. We were told in our task-force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs and masks for the health providers who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to take care of sick people.”


‘By the beginning of the year we should have the first tens of millions and then hundreds of millions of doses.’


— Anthony Fauci speaking about his hopes for a vaccine in early 2021

“When it became clear that the infection could be spread by asymptomatic carriers who don’t know they’re infected, that made it very clear that we had to strongly recommend masks. And also, it soon became clear that we had enough protective equipment and that cloth masks and homemade masks were as good as masks that you would buy from surgical supply stores,” he told interviewer Norah O’Donnell, the managing editor of CBS
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Evening News. “But our knowledge changed and our realization of the state of the outbreak changed.”

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for three decades continues to take a polar opposite approach to the coronavirus pandemic than that taken by the Trump administration — which has called for schools to reopen — and state lawmakers, who have enacted a patchwork of policies, including opening up their economies and refusing to introduce mandates to wear face masks, despite a surge in new cases in their states.

Fauci is optimistic about a vaccine. “If all goes well and there aren’t any unanticipated bumps in the road, hopefully, we should know whether the vaccine is safe and effective by the end of this calendar year, or the beginning of 2021,” he said. “By the beginning of the year we should have the first tens of millions and then hundreds of millions of doses.” On his role at the NIAID, he said, “I don’t see any termination within the near future because I judge [my career] by my energy and my effectiveness.”

O’Donnell asked Fauci about media restrictions and being “persona non grata” in the White House. “Sometimes they don’t allow you out regardless of what administration you’re in,” he replied. On the chilly reception from the White House, he said, “Well, you know, that really changes week to week and month to month. Sometimes you say things that are not widely accepted in the White House, and that’s just a fact of life.”

Trump recently upped the ante in the White House’s war of words with Fauci, taking aim at the doctor’s early response to the pandemic. “Dr. Fauci’s a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” the president said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. “Like you don’t have to ban them coming in from very infected China. I did it anyway and we saved hundreds of thousands of lives. I banned Europe from coming in when Italy and France and Spain were having all the problems.”


‘I certainly am energetic. And I think everybody thinks I’m doing more than an outstanding job.


— Anthony Fauci on his effectiveness as the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor

“They’ve been wrong about a lot things, including face masks,” Trump added. “Maybe they’re wrong, maybe not, but a lot of them said don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Now they are saying wear a mask. So a lot of mistakes were made — a lot of mistakes.” Trump has rarely worn a mask in public and has not said Americans should wear masks. In a break with his tradition of eschewing any face covering, he wore one last weekend while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Trump recently held a rally in Tulsa, Okla., where most people did not wear any face covering. On April 3, the administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed their policies on masks, and said everyone — not just medical workers — should wear face coverings. Trump cited “recent studies” of asymptomatic transmission, but still remained sanguine on the issue: “You don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it.”

Fauci recently said that the U.S. government had not been doing well with contact tracing, the process of tracing people who have been in contact with someone identified to have the virus, instructing them to stay home, and connecting them with the resources they need to do so. “I don’t think we’re doing very well, for a number of reasons, and not all of which is the fault of the system,” he said in an interview last month with CNN
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As of Friday, COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, had infected at least 13.9 million people globally and 3,6 million in the U.S. as of Friday. It had killed 593,218 people worldwide and 138,988 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering. On Thursday, the U.S. recorded more than 70,000 new cases of COVID-19, a new single-day record, according to Johns Hopkins and other independent sources.

Fauci, for his part, took a defiant tone with InStyle, “With all due modesty, I think I’m pretty effective. I certainly am energetic. And I think everybody thinks I’m doing more than an outstanding job.”

Related: Here’s one ‘remarkable’ difference between COVID-19 and the 1918 Spanish flu

How COVID-19 is transmitted



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