Maybe you should be a welder, the lip synced debate, Livingston meets DeGeneres, stop-and-frisk caught on video, and the day in the marriage-ban debate.
There's a growing theme that people are unemployed because they don't have the skills that are needed in today's jobs workplace. Perhaps that's because it's easier than noting that a lot of the jobs in today's jobs workplace aren't the jobs a lot of people want to do.
APM's Marketplace jumps into this with a story about welding. Companies can't find enough welders. Detroit, it says, has a high unemployment rate, but nobody wants to be a welder. What's the matter with you people?
The story might provide the answer:
A rookie welder can make $15 an hour. Experienced welders earn more. Harlan Rost worked as a welder for more than 30 years.
"I was making $18 an hour. And that was back in Minnesota in a town that was not noted for high wages," says Rost.
He loves welding, but the job requires working around poisonous fumes and standing for hours on end.
"Most of the welding jobs take a toll on, usually, the knees and the back," Rost says.
Rost had to retire when that toll caught up with his body. He would like to keep working. And there is plenty of demand for skilled welders.
Harlan Rost, the onetime Minnesota welder, suggests it's not a job for the older unemployed person because welding comes with physical disabilities and employers don't want to put up with any disabilities. That's not on the workforce; that's on the employers.
But that's a different situation than the one profiled by the Star Tribune this week. At the firm in Hugo profiled, it's not about physical labor, it's about high-tech skills, and changing the very images of what factory work is in 2012.
KARE says half the high-tech employers in Minnesota can't find employees...
Why is there a skills gap? Did educators fail to see a changing economy and prepare students for it? Is it the job of schools to train a workforce properly?
The Chronicle of Higher Education says there's a heated debate between employers and colleges on these and other questions.
One small example of what could be done comes from Minnesota, where CEO's and college leaders--including Brian C. Rosenberg, president of Macalester College (a liberal-arts institution)--have teamed up to figure out how to better align academic programs with work-force needs.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Cappelli notes that the best students, regardless of major, mostly go on to work at investment banks and consulting firms because they recruit heavily and have intensive training programs (of course, the pay is a big attraction too).
One could argue that those two industries provide important services but not much value to expand the economy for the future. But just imagine if more companies provided the training that the banks and consultants do. Perhaps then we'd have fewer people worrying about the demise of the liberal arts.
Related: As goes Janesville, WI. It's not that people who are out of work are lazy and don't want to work, this documentary suggests. They're just stuck in the middle of a game they can't control.
Jim Lehrer didn't do such a bad job.
After her on-air rebuttal of a man who objected to her weight, La Crosse TV anchor Jennifer Livingston picked up a fan in Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted that she wanted to meet Livingston. This week she got her chance...
Why is it significant when a driver is stopped for an air freshener on the rear-view mirror when it's really just a pretext for stopping someone who doesn't look right? Because it's a pretty small step to the next level. The Nation has obtained video of New York's controversial stop-and-frisk strategy.
Alvin's treatment at the hands of the officers may be disturbing but it is not uncommon. According to their own stop-and-frisk data, the NYPD stops more than 1,800 New Yorkers a day. A New York Times analysis recently determined that more than 20 percent of those stops involve the use of force. And these are only the numbers that the Department records. Anecdotal evidence suggests both figures are much higher.
In this video, exclusive to TheNation.com, Alvin describes his experience of the stop, and working NYPD officers come forward to explain the damage stop-and-frisk has done to their profession and their relationship to the communities they serve. The emphasis on racking up stops has also hindered what many officers consider to be the real work they should be doing on the streets. The video sheds unprecedented light on a practice, cheered on by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, that has put the city's young people of color in the department's crosshairs.
"The civilian population, they're being hunted by us," says an officer. "Instead of being protected by us, they're being hunted and we're being hated."
Colin Schumacher, a Hamline grad, wants his name removed from the list of winners of the John Wesley Leadership Award, which he received in 2003. He wants the school to take a stand against the same-sex marriage ban on November's ballot. He's a teacher at PS 364 in Manhattan now and has written an explanation today on Huffington Post.
In 2003, the same year that I received the Wesley award, I helped organize a ceremony commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter From Birmingham Jail." In the letter, King expresses his frustration with the "white moderate" who consistently placed their fears regarding political will and expedient measures of direct action above a moral obligation to end racial injustice. But as King notes, "oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever." In other words, there will come a time in which political will aligns with moral obligation.
At this moment in time, the Hamline Board of Trustees may believe that the political will for marriage equality does not yet exist in Minnesota and a stance against the amendment may translate into losses in funding from conservative donors. Members of the board, who are major donors themselves, may be leveraging their position -- calling only for "civil discourse" and "civic engagement" -- to protect a contradiction between their personal beliefs and the university's stated values. These fears are not becoming for a university that has prided itself, since its early founding, on a"pioneering spirit" and "inclusive traditions and values."
Meanwhile, this audio recording raises old questions, including whether businesses can afford to take a stand on political issues? It was posted by Treehouse Records and is said to be a message left on the store's voicemail...
Bonus I: Coincidence? From the Boston Globe: "The owners of New England Compounding Center, the Framingham company at the heart of a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis, also own a related pharmacy in Westborough, one of whose executives is a board member and former president of the state agency that regulates pharmacies."
Bonus II: First World problems.
Bonus III: On brothers...
Bonus IV: If you move into an area, do you have some sort of obligation to become a fan of the local sports team?
Even though recent polls show that undecided voters are a small percentage of likely voters, their votes could be enough to tip races one way or another. Today's Question: In two sentences, how would you sway an undecided voter to vote for your candidate in the presidential contest?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: Why your 20's matter. (Rebroadcast)
Second hour: How women are becoming the breadwinners. (Rebroadcast)
Third hour: Kerri's conversation with Time Magazine columnist Joel Stein about his book "Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity." (Rebroadcast)
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): First District congressional debate between Tim Walz and Allen Quist. Moderated by Gary Eichten.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) - The Political Junkie. Romney rides a post-debate bump while the Obama camp reboots. Vice president Joe bidden and Paul Ryan promise to liven things up on Thursday. And big bird hits weekend update, but begs out of an Obama campaign ad.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Fifty years ago, Vatican II sparked a revolution among Catholic nuns. For some American nuns, Vatican II brought freedoms. But some felt the Sisters went too far. Controversies started a half a century ago are still playing out today. NPR looks at Vatican II and the nuns.
"They're just stuck in the middle of a game they can't control."
Isn't that where we all are? We at least get some small measure of control on Nov.6. Time to choose sides, America.
That recording posted by Treehouse made my skin crawl. So much hate and fear.
In response to the question posed. Maybe it is bad business to post your political beliefs, but I think it says a lot about someone when they support something they care about regardless of the business impact. And considering billion dollar corporations can now spend unlimited amounts supporting whatever causes they want, I guess I want my local businesses to start taking a stand as well.
#4 and the Treehouse recording make me want to cry. For real, no words.
There are companies and institutions that won't take a stand defending the rights of gay citizens and that's disappointing. On the other hand we have institutions that claim moral high ground that are actively seeking to deny the rights of gay citizens, and that's disgusting. History will not look kindly on either of those groups.
re: Treehouse Records
On a different day that recording would make me very sad. But today I am only sad for the man who left the recording and others like him - on either end of the political spectrum. His hate, his anger, his denial of basic humanity - gosh, his world is heavy, dark, and isolating. (Not to mention lacking fun!)
I also take comfort in knowing that he is a dinosaur and he and others like him WILL go extinct.
Why? Because I still have faith that my generation of people who are growing up in a diverse world and practicing tolerance in their daily lives, who see differences as something to be celebrated and grateful for, will bring our values into the future.
I just wish dinosaurs like him would die out a little more quickly.
The Treehouse recording exemplified everything I already believe about conservative suburbanites. It made me sick; my skin crawls too.
Regarding the New England Compounding Center: it freaks me out to no end that the steroids were infected with a fungus (not bacteria). Fungus is so much more insidious and difficult to eradicate.
Regarding the skills gap - growing up, everything I heard in school made it sound like a fundamental change was occurring in the US economy (I'm 31 now). I heard statements like, "half the jobs your peers will be employed in haven't been imagined yet," "our economy is shifting to a service-based economy from a products-based economy," etc. Not one of my friends has a physical job "on a line." Everyone works in an office.
IMO, this is why Wilson Tool can't find employees, and welders are in short supply. We were told those jobs wouldn't be there, so we didn't go to school for them.
Tyler, that is half the answer. To the other side, the high tech jobs can't be filled because the qualification requirements are outrageous. Knowing how to do a job doesn't qualify you for it, doing that job successfully doesn't qualify you for it.
We are at an interesting gap where every young person is expected to have a college degree at a time when young people are figuring out that college isn't worth the expense, and experience should matter more then higher education. But the people hiring are still looking for elements of a failed experiment in higher education for the high tech industry.
If I got a degree in technology it'd be 10 years out of date now, 10 years ago smart phones would have been black and white palm devices with a "backpack" of sorts on it to allow it to get data via the cell network (for outrageous prices) and maybe also be used as a phone with a headset.
10 years ago none of the operating systems people are looking to hire for now existed.
But There are jobs I'm not qualified for because I don't have a degree. There are jobs that are near identical to my current job that I won't even be considered for because I don't have a degree. While this is an isolated incident around the BA/BS degree, I see job postings that are asking for masters degrees or better to do the same work that I know dozens of people with out those degrees that are more then qualified for every other requirement. But thanks to computers filtering out "unqualified candidates" they don't even get considered.
In IT we call that poor requirements gathering. in HR they call it "People don't have the right skills" because they can't admit they didn't put out the right qualifications...
There must have been a major shift from my high school (1980s) days to Tyler's.
I recall the class counselor coming to my Advance Placement English class and encouraging us to consider vo-tech, rather than a four-year college for higher education.
The conselor, coming to a classroom full of students in the top 15% if not 10% of the graduating class, telling us to forget about 4-year college education.
And Jon's experience is also different from mine, in the life science fields. Except for PhD positions, almost every job opening will include "or x years of experience" as an alternative to the degree listed.
Re: Treehouse records/marriage debate
I honestly don't care if I alienate potential clients by publicly showing my support of LGBT couples and families as a business owner. In my line of work, it's all about finding your 'ideal' client - and my ideal client does not discriminate against others.
What essjayok said.
"...Because I still have faith that my generation of people who are growing up in a diverse world and practicing tolerance..."
It's not about YOUR generation or MY generation. It's about ignorance, hatred, and bigotry, and those qualities can be found in every generation. Just because this particular guy sounded like he might be older than, say, 45, it doesn't mean that only his age group talk like this. I've heard people of all ages talk like this. Don't make this a "boomers are bad; younger people are good" kind of thing.
I've heard and read a lot of people - a lot of Republicans -- say things like what this ignorant bully said (he sounds like my 5 brothers). A few contributors here seem to be surprised by what this guy says, but it's a very prevalent attitude, unfortunately.
Skills gaps are emerging throughout the nation, and in many areas - skilled trades, high tech, etc. It's great to raise awareness of skills gaps, like this piece and Senator Franken's speech did, but the next step is to create programs to bridge them.
One way this can be done is through career and technical education (CTE). CTE has evolved quite a bit since the days of home economics and shop class, and covers the above career paths and many more. It has proven to boost student achievement, raise their earning potential and career prospects and help curb these emerging skills gaps.
The Industry Workforce Needs Council is a new organization devoted to both spotlighting skills gaps and advocating for CTE as a potential solution that businesses, students, educators and elected officials all can work on together. For more information, or to join the effort, visit www.iwnc.org.
Jason Spenger, for the IWNC