It’s time to talk about that favorite subject of mine, my personal crusade, foreign outsourcing. No one is talking about it, and we are in serious trouble. Candidate Howard Dean says he plans on creating two million jobs if elected. But it isn’t creation we need, it’s retention! No one was concerned when animators lost their jobs to inferior overseas production. Will we worry when its programmers, technicians, customer service, virtually all kinds of white collar jobs? Jobs we never thought would be vulnerable are going to India, Korea and the Phillipines.
The popular response to this complaint is that we should retrain ourselves for other jobs. But that’s not a solution. We retrain ourselves and then that job is outsourced later, or we find ourselves competing for the very few supervisory positions available. Once there was a thriving television animation industry. Now animators compete for the very few pre-production jobs, many of which are also starting to go overseas. Animators who then trained themselves in 3-D are now also being threatened by Indian studios vigorously clammering for 3-D work. Or, like Big Idea, the jobs go to Canada.
Not a week goes by that I don’t get yet another poorly translated e-mail from an Indian studio trying to get me to outsource to them. The only joy I get out of these solicitations is going to look at their site to see just how poor the work is going to be this time. But executives aren’t concerned with quality anymore, and outsourcing has not only killed this industry, it’s buried it six feet down and poured cement on top of it.