At the Escuela Vieau School in downtown Milwaukee, seventh-grader Camila Garcia was building a model wind turbine in a class intended to spark interest in engineering, Reuters reports.

"At first, I thought, 'This is for boys, it's not for me. I can't do it,'" the 13-year-old recalled. "Now I see that I can do it and that it's fun."

Her nascent interest in both learning math as well as the skills to apply it--measuring, designing and assembly--is a hopeful sign for manufacturers facing an unfamiliar problem as the country grapples with high unemployment. After years of cutting workforces, executives complain they cannot...

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    staff and wire services reports