I don't mean that in an unkind way. One of the best gigs I ever had was at Saint John Shipbuilding twenty-five years ago, and while that experience didn't exactly dispel the above stereotype, I'd have to say that for the most part we were happy semi-literate drunks!
What brought about my reminiscing was finding this consultant's report estimating the economic impact of the combat vessel construction program on the greater Halifax region. Table 1 on page 10 breaks down the consumer spending impact that the Combat Vessel Project will have. "Reading materials" is the smallest category on the list, accounting for $1.6 million per year.
Education gets 6.8 millions.
Personal care tops that at 7.6... all of these trumped by tobacco products and alcoholic beverages at over $10 millions per year!