Former "Cheers" TV comedy actor John Ratzenberger is hosting an Internet pod cast sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International.

In the podcast, Ratzenberger, host of the Travel Channel's "Made in America" talks about the history and future of American manufacturing, something the actor who once played postal worker "Cliff Clavin" on NBC's long-running "Cheers" is passionate about.

“Organizations such as the FMA Foundation and the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation, an organization I co-founded, aim to encourage youth to consider manufacturing as a career option,” he said.

“It’s a national hunger right now for our youth to get ‘hands on’ and actually create something,” he added. “These organizations fund camps that allow kids to create something they can build and actually feel good about making.”

Ratzenberger also talks to Brennan Palmiter, a teen-aged race car driver from Florida involved in an FMA-sponsored effort to increase interest in welding among young people.

Palmiter is scheduled to graduate from a vocational welding program in 2009.

“For every three welders that retires, only one is entering the industry,” Palmiter said. “What I want to do is to show other students my age that you can graduate high school early and have one heck of a degree at the same time.”

Ratzenberger's podcast is at www.podcasternews.com/bpp/4985/industry-report-john-ratzenberger-fma-foundation.