John Ratzenberger is well known for his role on the 1980's sitcom Cheers, and maybe even more known for his voice appearances in every single Pixar film (Pixar CCO John Lassetter calls Ratzenberger Pixar's "good luck charm.")

Now, Ratzenberger is speaking across America about declining manufacturing and building skills in America. He'll speak at the first Midwest Manufacturing Business Conference in Bettendorf next Monday and Tuesday, April 24-25, at the Waterfront Convention Center.

In speaking out against what he told the Quad City Times was "a crisis where we can't find people that know how to use tools," Ratzenberger is echoing concerns expressed by both Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel, and master carpenter Norm Abrams from the PBS series This Old House.

Abrams and Rowe teamed up last year to offer scholarships to encourage young men and women to take up the trades.

Ratzenberger is advocating for the return of industrial arts classes to high schools across America, an initiative he has even spoken to Congress about a few weeks ago. The former Cheers star believes that without the reinstatement of trades training in schools, America could be "brought to its knees."

For more information about Ratzenberger's appearance in Bettendorf next week, and the Midwest Manufacturing Business Conference, visit


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