08/31/2012 02:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

High-Tech Manufacturing: This Is What Success Looks Like

The ongoing debate about America's jobs crisis often focuses on the millions of people who are unemployed, and how public policy might better serve them and help close the "skills gap." That is understandable -- but it's also worth going beyond the "gap" metaphor to focus on specific success stories, i.e., workers who have moved into the jobs of the future after improving their skill sets.

That's exactly what Baker Gregory did when he decided to pursue a career in high-tech manufacturing in 2009. He enrolled in City Colleges of Chicago's associate's degree program in manufacturing technology and maintenance mechanics, and graduated from the community college system's Arturo Velasquez Institute this past spring. A month before getting his degree, he had two job offers. "It's much easier in manufacturing to get a job," says Gregory, who now works as an industrial maintenance technician in Chicago. Check out this video profile of him: