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Education and the Unemployment Rate

I read a couple of interesting statistics the other day in an article about the widening talent shortage among many American companies. The first was a citing about a study done by ManpowerGroup, a Milwaukee-based workforce consultant, showing that 52 % of employers can’t recruit skilled workers for their open positions. The other stat, this time by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that of the 9.2% of American currently unemployed, 78% have only a high school education or less.

These numbers are surprising and they tell me a couple of things worth noting regarding our stubbornly high unemployment rate. One is that the rate might not be so high if Americans would get educated and trained in areas of shortage and need. The other is that thinking you are going to get ahead in the 21st century with just a high school education is not preparation for the future.

The public and their proxy the media love to play the blame game for the high unemployment rate. It’s the Democrats fault or the Republicans fault. It’s greedy Wall Street or lazy Europeans and so on and so on. Instead of finding fault, perhaps we need to hold up a mirror and look into it. We could lower the unemployment rate and all of the misery associated with it significantly if we would further our education in strategic ways. Education is one of the best ways out of this mess.

I rarely hear or read the mainstream media report about this lurking education gap as being a contributor to the unemployment rate and I pay attention to a lot of news. Why do you think that is? Why is the national anchorperson hesitant to say that too many of the unemployed are lacking in the right kinds of education? Perhaps there is a concern that to say so might be perceived as elitist or that someone’s feelings may be hurt. There is an elephant in the unemployment room that is being ignored and not fully discussed. And we as a country do ourselves no favors to avoid it.

We should address this issue head on. If we could be delivered news we could really use such as where the human resource shortages are and what is involved in preparing to fill them we could be much better informed. Let’s hear more reports about the skills deficit for a change instead of this constant obsession about budget deficits. Let’s agree that without a vigorous push for high quality education at all levels, then our chances of competing in the world marketplace are greatly diminished.

School districts and universities need to be more engaged in this conversation as well. Of course their mission is to provide a broad range of learning opportunities to the greatest number of people. But by not identifying and shifting resources to address critical shortage areas of the economy they are denying our workforce significant solutions needed now. Academic advisors and counselors need to work more aggressively aligning emerging talent with areas of employment need.

And let’s try harder to see education as the benefit that it is. There is too much of an attitude that views education more as a cost than as an investment. Education can provide individuals with practical skills, a critical thinking ability, and confidence to succeed. It’s among the best self-help techniques society can do for itself.

We can do more to reduce unemployment than to just wait for banks, corporations, or government to release more money. We can be smarter about creating a congruence between hiring gaps and workforce development.

Careers and Training in the Technical Field

Technical careers have been on the rise over the last few years. There is always a need for office personnel, billers and coders, PC repair and IT personnel in every type of business from hospitals to small businesses. Technical training is essential for anyone that wants to get moving in this direction. Additional education can lead to higher salaries and increased marketability and training in the technical field is the way to go in this economy right now.

The technical arena is growing at a very fast rate and technology is evolving quickly. Careers like Business office administration, Medical billing and coding, PC repair and tech support and IT support are at the forefront of the 21st century. Business administration classes can lead to careers as a data entry clerk, administrative assistant, customer service representative or a word processor. The administrator basically manages daily operations, scheduling, reception, maintenance, bookkeeping and data entry.

Medical billing and coding classes can lead to a career as a specialist, clerk, biller or a coder. Hospitals and major medical facilities all have a great need for billers and coders. The healthcare facilities have to make sure that they get paid for their services in order to stay open and the billers and coders make that possible.

PC repair and technical support learning can lead to careers that take an individual on the road or in house of a business. There is a great need for PC support in every type of business available. The repair person gets to work closely with the clients whether over the phone or in person. They deal with PC set ups, printer set ups, booting, computer support, trouble shooting, installing, maintenance, and repairing hardware and software.

Conclusion

Technical training is a necessity in this day and age because this industry is quickly on the rise and every aspect of business needs to have office administrators, billers and coders, repair personnel and IT techs to keep their business running smoothly. Many of these programs can be completed within one or two years. The salary potential for these type of careers is always at the top of the salary list and companies are in desperate need of well trained personnel. In order to increase the salary and move into the technical arena one has to invest in classes in order to keep up with the quickly evolving field of technology.

Arts and Entertainment As Education and Training

Prisons should be rehabilitation centers. Inmates would be forbidden to watch commercial TV. Entertainment would be OK, but it would be good clean entertainment, not the sexual immorality, drug abuse and violence so prevalent on commercial TV.

Prisoners would also have a menu of cognitive therapy options available to choose from for their rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation and other educational opportunities will also be available.

Prisoner selection and progress in such programs will be monitored and considered in their reentry into society process.

I think Wyoming would be a great place to build prisons. Good jobs for Wyoming and placing them out in the relatively empty places in Wyoming would keep them away from society. I just think prisons and the whole rehabilitation industry would be good business for Wyoming.

Reforming Hollywood and other entertainment industry activities is another project we can work on to improve human nature and civilization. I am astonished that people think that murder and rape, and all kinds of human perversity is entertaining.

I guess the scientists who work in Hollywood have discovered how to push certain buttons in human nature and now they just keep pushing them, just like a pigeon will keep pushing the cocaine button in an experiment.

Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it. Make sure everyone wins in all your business activities. Deliver more than you promise. Trade good stuff for good stuff. Never sell poison for money, whether its physically, mentally or spiritually poisonous. Much of the entertainment available today is mentally and spiritually poisonous. And when people act out the fantasies they are watching, it becomes physically harmful.

We are all responsible for this. Society is whatever we make it. We can make a peaceful and prosperous society, or we can make this mean oppressive society that Hollywood is selling.

I encourage everyone to help make the world a better place, be kind friendly and polite. Practice peace and prosperity in your own personal and professional lives. Practice unity in diversity.

Love and respect each other. We are not seeking uniformity. The diversity inherent in human nature is a strength of human nature. We do need a common set of moral and spiritual principles that we can all agree to and practice in order to live in harmony with each other and our
natural habitat.

Peace be with you all.