When it comes to unions and industrial policy, Democrats and Republicans are simultaneously at odds with each other and themselves.
Maybe get the unions and government to agree & pledge towards advanced vocational training facilities for the most lacking (and potentially lucrative) sectors? That could nicely sidestep the usual areas of disagreement while ensuring improved competitiveness and quality, and justifying the unions' demands. Not to mention all the related benefits, such as an alternative higher education path for many who may be unwilling or unlikely to pursue a traditional college education in the current academic & economic environment...
A generation of American engineers and builders has passed since the Space Shuttle – without doing much engineering and building, and without anyone noticing or caring much. They have fewer accumulated skills and years of experience to to pass on, so it’s no wonder they seem clueless to the Chinese. Today, that talent is in China because we sent it there.