Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Former IBM Chief Executive Officer Louis Gerstner delivered a big message Sunday on behalf of more STEM education in the U.S.

STEM, as in science, technology, engineering and math.

Talking with Fareed Zakaria on CNN about what America needs to do to create more jobs and revitalize the economy, Gerstner said this country is simply not teaching skills needed by companies that resent what he calls the “next level” of product development.

“What has proven to be enormously successful over 100 years is we’ve moved up the chain,” Gerstner said.

“Those industries moved to other countries that were more than happy to take those commodity industries, and we moved up into electronics. We moved up into material sciences, we moved up into different industries, aircraft manufacturing.

“And so we’ve always been able to evolve but the problem in America today is the next level of industries require a level of skill, educational level that we’re not producing in this country.”

Now, the bad news, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal:

“We’re not producing workers who have the skills to move up the next step. So we’ve got a competition for high paying, high return jobs, and we’re not in America investing in the skills of our workers to allow us to compete in those industries today.”

Read highlights from the show as

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