Curse their shiny heads — the robots are taking our jobs!

York County's once-proud manufacturing workforce hit an all-time low — 30,600 — in March, due in part to mindless, yet flawless machines.

Employers have been shedding those factory jobs for nearly 25 years as computer automation slowly replaces the need for flesh-and-blood workers, according to William Sholly, an analyst with the state Department of Labor & Industry who studied the recently released numbers.

And the pace is only increasing, he said.

So what do we do — sit back and prepare to be assimilated?

No, because the Borg aren't taking all of the manufacturing positions. There are some jobs that simply require a human touch.

Make that a "highly skilled" human touch.

Unfortunately, the local manufacturing community has been warning for years that local skills aren't keeping up with manufacturers' needs.

That means schools and job-training programs need to stress how important math, science and engineering are to the health of our local economy. And job applicants, students and even their parents need to understand the value of these skills, which can lead to incomes recent college graduates can only dream about.

A group of area high-schoolers has the right idea — in fact, they're covering all the bases.

The TechFire robotics team, composed of about 30 students from 10 school districts in York and Lancaster counties, recently finished as a quarterfinalist in the Galileo division of the 2014 FIRST World Championship.


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The global competition requires students to use science and technology to design, build and program robots to perform specific tasks.

It's perfect.

If you can't beat 'em at least build 'em.