William J. Clinton
A report was on Tuesday) this past week that clearly pointed out a huge issue we face in our State and specifically in the booming Capital Region …
An inability to fill jobs for the future and the problem is very difficult in the five-county Capital Region where businesses need better qualified talent, especially in technology.
The study, prepared by the business group America’s Edge (http://www.americasedge.org), says seven in 10 jobs created in New York from 2008 to 2018 will require some type of formal education beyond high school, and more than 80 percent of the fastest growing and high-wage jobs will require at least a two-year degree.
Mid-level skills are those requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. The report urges support for implementation of “college- and career-ready standards and evidence-based high school models.”
The report says it’ll be tough to create a pipeline of skilled workers when 23 percent of high school students fail to graduate on time, only 37 percent of public school students graduate “college and career ready,” and too many drop out.
Many called this potential situation a few years back – yours truly being one. Our education programs were not aligning to the new needs of the job marketplace and educators and businesses were talking – but not really taking action so now we see this problem getting ready to bite us on the butt.
Some of the comments. Jenn O’Connor, New York State director, America’s Edge stated that she believes the state’s teachers and the education department are at odds over how Common Core testing is being implemented and applied. "We believe in linking and aligning the Common Core standards to real-world expectations and relevant work experience. We understand that it certainly has been divisive and we’re interested to see how it continues to roll out."
David Rooney, senior vice president, Center for Economic Growth says businesses want to see graduates that not only have mastered hard skills. "It’s also the soft skills: Can I make sure that I am on time? (That) I’m ready to work when I arrive at an organization? That I’ve got the proper communications skills and the basic skills I need to be successful in the workplace?"
How did New York get in this situation?
Many have viewpoints such as:
· Lack of communication between business and education on the skills that are needed in the changing workplace
· Lack of communication between education and government
· And my thought: Lack of action on all parties – education, government, employers and employees - to plan, identify the new paradigm of work and skills needed to survive. The market has changes as fast as technology has changed – and this will continue.
Work today. Plan for the future. Prepare for changes. Identify the trends in your job or industry and don’t wait for someone to give you skills training – go out and get it yourself. Coach those you know to not just follow the traditional route – from high school to a Bachelors degree – but rather to work on developing a skill or set of skills, be employable and then further education to whatever level of choosing.
There are many options to develop skills. Online education is exploding. Certificate (6 months to two-year programs) are available in technology, the trades or other specialized areas. It does not have to require going to a classroom every day; it could be study at home or a combination.
Above all, take action – be accountable – commit to your development and marketplace employability. Only you control your destiny, no one else!
And thank you for reading this. - Dan
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