I attended a conference in Chicago on 10/2/07 titled "Mobilizing to Attract Skilled Workers to High Tech Manufacturing". Among the speakers was Dr. Edward Gordon, author of The 2010 Meltdown, who provided an urgent call to action, as he describe the worker shortages that will plague the global economy in the next decade or more.
One common theme of this group was that the higher education community has brainwashed parents into thinking that if they don't send their kids to college, they can have no future. Using a variety of reports to illustrate the earning power of a vocational education, and examples from Europe showing that the path to a CEO job could be through an apprentice/vocational education, as well as a college education, the speakers outlined a campaign to show parents and youth that going into debt to spend four years at a university is not aways a great return on the investment.
I've posted links to some of these articles in the workforce development section of the links library. If you have ideas on this topic or addtional resources, please add them.