Your Sept. 14 editorial, "Loss of Hughes: Reality Bites," was a slice of reality. Indeed we must fight "door-to-door" to retain threatened industries, but let me redefine those doors as our California legislators, academics and media outlets. Although California has experienced tremendous bipartisan leadership and compromise from a few state and local leaders, their efforts are dwarfed by the anti-manufacturing culture in California's social fabric. We can't win the battle for high-paying industrial jobs on a company-by-company basis but only through a broad-based cultural change that recognizes the social and economic value of a strong manufacturing base.
Long-term relief from thousands of lost jobs goes far beyond defense cuts or recessionary excuses. It is the marketplace, driven by consumer demands, that is the ultimate force behind our jobless plague. The marketplace sees our legislators fighting each other instead of uniting for California programs; it sees an education system that ignores industrial arts programs; it shakes its head at federal, state and local leaders who don't recognize the importance of manufacturing jobs; and stands helplessly at the awesome influence of a biased media.
California is a limitless land of opportunity but our potential is muted if we don't come to grips with the strategic value of an economy built on an industrial foundation.
DAVID GOODREAU, Chairman
California Industrial Leadership Council