Path Home Shows 2016 Show Archive September 2016 Show 1636 Celebrating Strength, Prosperity and Well-Being

Celebrating Strength, Prosperity and Well-Being

Labor Day has come to signify the traditional end of summer, yet Labor Day’s roots go much deeper.
Celebrating Strength, Prosperity and Well-Being

Celebrating Strength, Prosperity and Well-Being

For more information visit these links:

Nick Pinchuk - The Need for Career and Technical Education

National Governor’s Association - America Works


Snap-On Inc.

Show Details

Show 1636: Celebrating Strength, Prosperity and Well-Being
Air Date: September 4, 2016



Rob McClendon: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us here on Horizon. Well, for most of us, Labor Day is a holiday most Americans do anything but – a day off of work to celebrate work itself. And while over the years, Labor Day has come to signify the traditional end of summer, Labor Day’s roots, well, they go much deeper.

Rob McClendon: First celebrated in New York in 1882, Labor Day’s origins were no picnic in the park. While there were parades, there were also protests demanding fair wages, the end of child labor and the right to form a union. This at a time when people often worked 12 hours six days a week in dirty, often dangerous jobs. Things like vacation, health care and retirement pensions virtually unheard of. In the following years, the idea of a Labor Day did catch on though in America, but it wasn’t easy. Protests led to riots, leaving people dead in the street. But in 1894, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday, only days after sending 12,000 soldiers to bust a railroad strike. In spite of this new holiday, it was a long time before workers began to see much change. In the middle of the Great Depression, FDR signed a law ending child labor and establishing an eight-hour five-day work week. America’s workers continued to gain power in the 1950s when a third of the labor force was unionized and America’s economy was booming. But beginning in the 1960s, factories began to close and many of the lowest skilled jobs – outsourced to other countries, a trend that the CEO of Snap-On Tools believes can only be reversed with a change in America’s attitude towards labor.

Nick Pinchuk: And the problem is, America has lost the respect for the dignity of work.

Rob: Nick Pinchuk told the members of Oklahoma’s business roundtable that many of the answers to revitalizing our economy, lie in the middle.

Pinchuk: America is a great country. And it’s a great country because of the middle class and the achievement of the American dream. It has succeeded not only because of the brilliance of the few, but the efforts of the many. We are challenged today because we’re in a global competition, a conflict. And our No. 1, our No. 1 weapon in that conflict is career and technical education, which will upscale our workforce and allow them to differentiate them and win the competition to be the amplifiers for the ideas. Grow the middle class again, and to do that, and to do that, as businessmen, as educators, as government people, we need to cooperate to shape the curriculums to be demand-driven. Call in the airstrikes so what kids are studying is exactly what’s going to lead to a job. We need to change. We need to change the optical outlook on these jobs. We need to restore the respect for the dignity of work. We need to bring the American dream back to what made this country great, that is prosperity and stability for a family in a great job, not necessarily a rock star job. And we need to change these consolation prizes to an American calling, a national calling. And then finally, we need to actually say that technical education is important. And like we all tell our employees, actually act like it.

Rob: Now, I do have Snap-On’s CEO Nick Pinchuk’s full speech streaming on our website, and I can tell you it’s well worth a watch. When we return, a look at how America worked itself out of the Great Depression.