Why Job Training Is Essential

unemployment_officeIt may surprise you to learn that even as layoffs mount and unemployment has passed the 10% mark, there are employers who are having a hard time filling positions that pay $50,000 to $60,000 plus benefits!  How is this possible?  Join me after the jump to find out.

According to a recent Associated Press (AP) article, good paying jobs in the fields of nursing, engineering and energy research have been hard to fill.  According to the AP story,

“Ask Steve Jones, a hospital recruiter in Indianapolis who’s struggling to find qualified nurses, pharmacists and MRI technicians. Or Ed Baker, who’s looking to hire at a U.S. Energy Department research lab in Richland, Wash., for $60,000 each.

Economists say the main problem is a mismatch between available work and people qualified to do it. Millions of jobs with attractive pay and benefits that once drew legions of workers to the auto industry, construction, Wall Street and other sectors are gone, probably for good. And those who lost those jobs generally lack the right experience for new positions popping up in health care, energy and engineering.”

“A mismatch between available work and people qualified to do it” is the key phrase from this article.  Simplified, it means that folks who lost jobs in fields where the jobs are gone for good, like manufacturing for example, are not able to easily make the transition to another highly skilled career.  At least, not without significant retraining in fields such as healthcare where there are jobs sitting available and unfilled.

I believe the problem goes deeper than just the shift in the economy that has caused the destruction of so many manufacturing and financial industry jobs.  I suspect that there is a fundamental weakness in the education system in our country.  Public primary and secondary education is in a woefully underfunded state.  Ask any teacher you know if this is true.  The deficiency of primary and secondary education is leaving our young people unprepared for success in the realm of higher education (college/university).

In an article on the Huffington Post, blogger Hillary Pennington cites information from the conservative American Enterprise Institute that highlighs the shockingly poor success rate of American students in college level education.

“A new study from the American Enterprise Institute reports that fewer than 60 percent of students in four-year institutions graduate within six years, with many colleges posting graduation rates below 40 percent. Even more stark is the difference between the highest and lowest performing institutions: At the nation’s most competitive universities, the average graduation rate is 89 percent, while the least competitive universities graduate an average of 12 percent of their students. Students and families have a right to know this information. We as a nation, including policymakers, educators and students, must work together to dramatically improve postsecondary completion rates.” (Emphasis mine)

If government was doing a better job at funding education at all levels, we would be turning out plenty of graduates with the requisite skills to capture the jobs of the 21st century which require far more specialized expertise than jobs in the last century.  Clearly, our collective inability to invest in education as a societal imperative is coming home to roost.  Its maleffects are magnified by the current economic stress.  How else to explain the inability of companies in the US to fill positions for between $50k and $60k plus benefits?

For those motivated folks like yourselves who have taken the initiative to purchase specialized, supplemental educational and professional training, the rewards promise to be great. 
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-pennington/getting-people-to-college_b_210914.html

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/04/as-layoffs-persist-good-j_n_309232.html

8 Responses to “Why Job Training Is Essential”

  1. Tracy Burkholder

    I personally can understand this. I do think there is not enough time spent on our children’s education. I used to work with disruptive youth ages 12-21. These children were both female and male. The students that I worked with didn’t have very good self esteem, in turn meant that they would not try very hard on their assignments in school. They would just slop any old answer don, or they would not even try. They did not get they proper attention that they needed when they were younger to give them the foundation they needed to be able to further their education if they would have chosen that. When a child doesn’t understand something they will do one of two things. One they will ask for help if they have the confidence to do so, and two they will just guess or let it blank and say I don’t care. We really need to focus more on making sure that our youth have a solid understanding while they are in school learning, that way they will have the opportunity to be more successful later in life.

  2. Leah Phillips-Harold

    I have been looking for a new job for over 9 months. During this time I have used every trick in the book to keep my resumes moving through the hundreds of individuals apply for the same job. Here is what I have learned and I have had success in getting in the door.

    1. Update something on your resume at least once a week. The new updated bring your resume to the (updated status) Monster.com, InDeed.com, Unemployment office, etc. all track the resume date and updated date.
    2. If you want to highlight a skill, like MS Word or project manager, but the skill on you resume at the bottom in white lettering. The computer that is scanning resumes for that skill is looking for those words. It will not hurt the appearance of your resume because it is not visible.
    Good Luck

  3. Maria Romingquet Ly

    JOB HUNTING TIPS

    Finding a job in the current economy can be difficult. For many job seekers, seeking a new job can be a stressful experience. How do you overcome these challenges? Develop strategies to help you improve your chances of success by being Proactive, Persistent, and staying Positive.

    Be PROACTIVE. Make it a daily goal to accomplish several things each day, such as applying for jobs on job boards, tracking down job leads, and going on job interviews.

    And while you are seeking a new job in your profession, you may want to consider taking a temporary position in the interim. Temping pays well and will help pay bills until a permanent position comes along.

    Be PERSISTENT. Market yourself and continue to be persistent with your job search. There are plenty of jobs out there, but finding them will require hard work, persistence, and creativity. Take the time to really prepare and be assertive and persistent. In time, all your hard work will pay off.

    Keep a POSITIVE attitude. Employers eliminate job candidates who appear desperate or too negative. Your goal as a job seeker is to be specific about the job you seek and to communicate to the prospective employer the impact you can make if hired for the position. Sell yourself by learning how to talk about yourself in a meaningful and powerful way.

    Remember that the odds are in your favor when you consider that even in a job market with 10 percent unemployment, there is 90 percent employment.

  4. Elizabeth Painter

    I currently work as a youth counselor in New Jersey. We used to offer training to individuals for almost any position they wanted to train in. This is no longer true. We have many more restrictions now as far as what jobs our participants can train for. They must first go to a “2009 real time demand list” where it lists thousands of different jobs, and whether or not there is a need for workers in the state. It is amazing how in 2007 there was a need for workers in almost every job listed. If you go to 2009, the demands are few and far between. We have to be able to justify spending money on training an individual for a job where there is no demand.
    Two short years ago it took three weeks for an unemployed individual to find new employment. Today it takes an average of 30 weeks for someone to find a job.
    In these days of economic crises, it is so important to teach our kids to train for something where they will be able to find employment. It’s great to say you’d like to be a teacher, or a policeman, or a fireman, or whatever. But if there is no demand for these workers, your training will not help you find a job.

  5. Linda Palumbo

    I do agree that the educational system in our country needs a lot of work. It amazes me that when our state looks at areas to cut the budget that education is one of those areas. I am from the old school where kids need to be taught the basics and build on those skills. They need to be prepared for the road ahead. I feel that we need to encourage our kids to seek educational opportunities that will lead to employment and success. More time should be spent on career develpoment in high school giving our kids the knowledge they need to make could career choices. There are more and more college graduates moving back in with Mom and Dad because they can’t find a job, thus increasing the unemployment rate. We need to invest in our future and that is our kids.

  6. Sandy Jackson

    I have navigated through the site and there are some very interesting articles providing a lot of information. What I was particularly drawn to is the article on ”Why Job Training is Essential.” I have tried to keep track with the job statistics and the national census on job opportunities. This article was interesting. It encouraged and fulfills me with anticipation to read that some states are having a difficult time finding individuals with medical experience to fill positions.
    Sandy Jackson

  7. I totally agree with the problem of finding trained employees. I currently work for an HVAC company and it is so hard to find employees that have the knowledge that we need. We would be more than willing to hire someone straight out of school if we could just find some. I live in a small town and the closest trade school for HVAC is 100 miles away and most people don’t want to leave the city. The thought process is that they will earn more money in the larger cities.

    Another problem I have seen is that students at the high school level are encouraged to attend a two or four year college for their continuing education. Trade schools like The Allen School are very seldom mentioned. And sometimes when someone decides that they want to attend a program such as nursing they can’t get in because there is a lack of instructors. A couple of years ago my daughter was going to school in Tucson getting her prerecs for nursing, when it came time to actually take the nursing portion of her education she found out that she would have to wait at least two years to get started. This was do to the amount of people wanting to become a nurse. She found a program at another community college in a small town that had students test in to join the program. It is required to get a high enough grade to enter the program. I personally like this way best, it helps to ensure that the best suited will get into the program.

  8. I believe it to be totally true, that there are still many high paying careers available out there in certain industries, remembering that before the recession struck there where many vacancies that businesses where unable to fill. Finding employment in these industries wouldn’t be a bad idea and working out which industries there is a shortage of trained professionals for is a wise idea before deciding which sort of degree you world like to study to graduate in as no one is really sure what the economy is going to do in years to come.

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