After the State of the Union Address last night, America needs to take a hard look at its job market. It needs to look at all of the hype and then look at its unemployed and unemployable. It’s a hard thing to do.
All the talk lately seems to be about making college affordable and winning high-tech jobs for America. We are seeing a huge increase in pitches for an affordable college education. (After all it is a business and they want that almighty enrollment) They are grinding out MBAs left and right because just a BBA just doesn’t cut it anymore.
But what we need in this country are the shovel ready jobs. Not everyone is college bound. When your demographic is from 16 to 24 years of age and you only have a high school diploma (at best) you are in the highest percentage of the unemployed.
When a person can barely get that high school degree or a GED is the limit of their peak performance what are they going to do? They can’t all become actors or filmmakers or reality tv contestants. America needs to keep these folks employed with something meaningful.
Once upon a time it was the factory job. Working on a line at the GM plant or working at the steel mill wasn’t a dream job. But it paid well and didn’t require a college degree. It gave people an opportunity to make a decent living, afford to feed their family and hopefully their kids would be a little brighter and maybe make their way to college. If not they followed them to work at the plant.
There were millions of secretarial jobs and positions for office workers, mail room, etc. All replaced by word processors. Heck, even the Post Office is cutting back on Saturday deliveries to make ends meet for shrinking demand. Mail carriers only seem to deliver supermarket circulars these days. Robotics and automation is replacing the factory line job.
So now what does America do for the millions of folks who simply aren’t college material? America needs the infrastructure jobs. Road building, bridge building, construction, building retro fitting for sustainable green energy, something more than asking a patron if they want fries with their order or do they want their hedges trimmed in addition to the edging of their lawn this week.
Lets see some emphasis on vocational education in America again. Let’s teach some actual skills. There’s a different kind of zombie apocalypse on the horizon for America,. but it can be curtailed.
- Reaching an intellectual peak: Should Everyone Go to College? (computinged.wordpress.com)
- Text: Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- 5 Million College Grads with Jobs that Don’t Require a High School Diploma (breitbart.com)
- Shovel ready: Obama’s big infrastructure myth (humanevents.com)