Monday, September 20, 2010

NEWS That Matters to Me: Discuss Among Yourselves.

Companies manufacturing high-precision products—car and aircraft parts, large-scale construction equipment—encounter a dearth of workers with the mathematical and technical skills necessary to operate computer-controlled machines; these companies face lagging sales as a result. In some cases, these companies set up their own training programs to teach potential workers the skills necessary for high-tech manufacturing, but the length of time required to complete these training programs—time away from lower-paying but already extant jobs—renders them infeasible for some prospective applicants. Thus, the positions remain unfilled, because the American educational system does not currently produce enough job candidates with the technical expertise to perform in the “blue-collar” jobs of the twenty-first century. 
Furthermore, kids that aren't geared towards a college education fall off of the map without any options that would interest them.  Not everyone is academically inclined and there is nothing wrong with that.  When will we learn?
"In February 2007, Ms. Ch├ívez quietly took a job herself at People Exchanging Power. She says she had just gotten divorced, was having trouble making her mortgage payments, and viewed working for the service, which paid more than $40 per hour, as a great way to earn money in her spare time and gather material for her fiction."   I want to sign up!  $40/hour.  That's mad loot to a shit solo like myself.  What business does People Exchanging Power deal in?  Oh, the phone sex business.  
"Do you want a biker bitch, an imperious goddess, or a stern teacher ready to punish unruly students?" Lick my boot!  
Then a 30-year-old law school graduate said he's no longer able to make the interest payments on his educational loans, much less able to have a mortgage or a family. He said he had been inspired by Obama's campaign. But now, "that inspiration is dying away," he said. "I really want to know: Is the American dream dead?
"Absolutely not. ... There is not a country in the world that would want to change places with us," Obama responded. "We are still the country that billions of people in the world look to and aspire to."  Let's hope you're right, Mr. President.  My American Dream is on life support.
  • Darwinism--kind of?  87% of Law School Admissions Offices have received a bad letter of recommendation--a total application killer.  I would like to say that they are idiots for asking the wrong person to write them a recommendation--but they are the lucky ones in the end.  They just don't realize it.  Law School Admissions Offices also had this to say:
56 percent predict an increase in applications this year, while only 6 percent predict a decrease – 25 percent p.predict application numbers to remain flat, while 13 percent were not sure; 75 percent say the lagging effects of the recession are responsible for the recent and predicted application increases. 
All of these stories came from BIDER readers.  Thank you for your vigilance!

5 comments:

  1. Great news roundup, Angel! The American Dream is dead for millions. Obama just can't admit to that because that is admitting his presidential campaign will be DOA in 2012. Anyone with over $100k in loans who can't find a public interest job let alone any job that will pay the bills is screwed in this economy. Many of these people will never find a full-time job above minimum wage again.

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  2. On the first article, I barf. Check the link regarding Chris and his love of cars only to be stymied by his inflexible high school and joining the Bloods. I'm sure it is that simple.

    I'm not sure college is for everyone, but college grad beats high school grad every day of the week. Vocational training just is not that effective for a career of 45 years.

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  3. "In some cases, these companies set up their own training programs to teach potential workers the skills necessary for high-tech manufacturing, but the length of time required to complete these training programs—time away from lower-paying but already extant jobs—renders them infeasible for some prospective applicants."

    I call bullshit. Companies used to fill these positions with paid trainees who were compensated at a certain percentage relative to their more skilled peers. In some industries (unionized/skilled trades, major railroads, etc) this is still the case. But unpaid training programs? Either aggregate demand is high enough for the company to train and pay qualified employees or it isn't. If your company is losing sales due to lack of qualified workers, demand probably is high enough. But those workers aren't born. They have to be made. That can get expensive. And if it gets expensive, profits might take a hit. The executive staff might lose a bit of bonus. The Senior VP of Whatever might have to park his Porsche and start driving the Lexus to work every day instead. We all know what a tragedy that would be.

    The higher education bubble hasn't just produced lots of debt and an underemployed workforce with meaningless degrees. It's also produced a mentality within many businesses that qualified and talented employees will fall out of the sky upon demand, then act like perfect little Stepford wives on the job. (After all, they have the student loan ball 'n chain - they wouldn't dare get in an argument with their boss over something so piddly as unpaid overtime, or the fact that HR wants to move everyone over to 1099 status). If you can get your employees to train themselves within the walls of academia - and foot the bill - why should you bother worrying about it yourself?

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  4. http://www.freep.com/article/20100921/NEWS06/9210318/1320/Michigan-needs-more-college-grads

    The world needs ditch diggers man.

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  5. @Anon 5:02 AM

    I live in Michigan - I even work in the glorious Chrysler building, although for not so glorious wages - and I can tell you that this state needs more graduates like a ship needs wheels.

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