Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Talk about our country's "Skills Gap" with your friends

You've seen me fired up before in this career blog about the lack of useful attention U.S. politicians (and yes, the rest of us American taxpayers) pay to career education, workforce development, and education in general. Columnist David Brooks of the New York Times hits the nail on the head with his column yesterday about the "Skills Gap." The header sums it up: "A Lack of Educational Progress Threatens Economic and Sociologic Prospects." By the way, this is not new news - Microsoft has been working for years to address this issue. See this article here.

I think it's up to the rest of us to support local career education initiatives, related NGOs, and lobby local politicians to include reversing the growing skills gap in our country's top political priorities; how else are you going to get enough taxes to foot the future Social Security bill? Creation of more low wage service jobs like those at fast food restaurants is just not going to cut it - no offense to MickeyDs. Those jobs do not mean "economic prosperity" for anyone. The more money people make, the more taxes they pay. Seems like a simple incentive for politicians to me.

Even if we don't agree with one another about the causes of this "skills slowdown" as Mr. Brooks refers to it, it nevertheless should be in the public debate. It's only when people start talking about an issue that politicians pay attention to it.

I doubt many people reading this blog are in the growing low-skilled category of workers. There may be a few people online googling "career blogs" who know how to navigate social networking sites but lack the writing and digital literacy skills to file a Home Depot application online. But I doubt there are many. So I feel like I'm preaching to the choir - am I? Do you agree these issues are this important?

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