'Skills gap' leaves firms without wor...

'Skills gap' leaves firms without worker pipeline

There are 39 comments on the Boston.com story from Jun 30, 2011, titled 'Skills gap' leaves firms without worker pipeline. In it, Boston.com reports that:

John Russo's chemical lab in North Kingstown has been growing in recent years, even despite a deflated economy, and he expects to add another 15 to 20 positions to his 49 employees over the next year.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Boston.com.

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Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#21 Jul 1, 2011
WeElectedABunchOfIdiots wrote:
<quoted text>
The concept of "merit pay" was just one of the ideas... you know the concept where you reward those that do better...
On the flip side, Bush wanted penalties for not doing well... Both were defeated by the Liberals and the unions.
So just how are you to get teachers to do better?
Without incentive to do better.
Without a penalty for doing poorly.
In Every other business, if you do well, you are rewarded, if you do poorly, you are either fired, demoted or passed over....
In "every" other business, if you do well, you are rewarded, if you do poorly,you are either fired, demoted or passed over? Not in "corporate" America or it seems in government. Mainstreet: Correct. Wall Street or Government:????
YouHelpFixIt

Scottsdale, AZ

#22 Jul 1, 2011
Wall Street Government wrote:
<quoted text> We have that down here but it's all based on an FCAT score. So George's premise of rewarding good teachers and punishing bad ones were and are based on a test. Down here, we do the same but with the entire school, so the teachers, in effect are teaching students to pass a test instead of learning outside the box that our state has stifled our teachers with. It crushes Innovation. Principals and assistant Principals need to evaluate, just as teacher's do students. Teaching to pass a test is not getting better, it's getting worse.
Getting worse by what measure?

Rsitisting any attempt to measure performance is what allows things to get worse.
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#23 Jul 1, 2011
YouHelpFixIt wrote:
<quoted text>
Getting worse by what measure?
Rsitisting any attempt to measure performance is what allows things to get worse.
Our students scores in International competition, the scores in our own polling.

“Your Own Peace Prize Inside”

Since: Mar 07

Hyannis, Mass

#24 Jul 1, 2011
Wall Street Government wrote:
<quoted text> We have that down here but it's all based on an FCAT score. So George's premise of rewarding good teachers and punishing bad ones were and are based on a test. Down here, we do the same but with the entire school, so the teachers, in effect are teaching students to pass a test instead of learning outside the box that our state has stifled our teachers with. It crushes Innovation. Principals and assistant Principals need to evaluate, just as teacher's do students. Teaching to pass a test is not getting better, it's getting worse.
"Teaching to the test"...
So, What other means do you have for gauging the success of the teachers?
No testing?
No accountability?

La, la, la....
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#25 Jul 1, 2011
WeElectedABunchOfIdiots wrote:
<quoted text>
"Teaching to the test"...
So, What other means do you have for gauging the success of the teachers?
No testing?
No accountability?
La, la, la....
As I stated, principals. They are the CEO of that school. No testing? Never stated that. No accountability? Never stated that. Maybe you have my comment mixed up with Wall Street.

“Your Own Peace Prize Inside”

Since: Mar 07

Hyannis, Mass

#26 Jul 1, 2011
Wall Street Government wrote:
<quoted text> As I stated, principals. They are the CEO of that school. No testing? Never stated that. No accountability? Never stated that. Maybe you have my comment mixed up with Wall Street.
National Standards.
Results.
Accountability.

Three basic goals of the original NCLB as proposed by GWB.

They all work together, take one out, the plan fails.
Teachers and the liberal got rid of Accountability....
The other two can't be reached.
Chuckie

Broken Arrow, OK

#27 Jul 1, 2011
They should move overseas like China or India.
questioner

Waterford, MS

#28 Jul 1, 2011
tidy catz wrote:
There used to be this thing in America called "on the job training." You start someone out with small tasks and teach them to do the jobs you need. There are some jobs that do require years of education and training, but for a great many the skills could be taught while that person is working in the field.
I was at a convention once and seated at a table with one of the senior editors of the Orlando Sentinel. He was probably in his 60's. I asked him how he got his job with the Sentinel. He said he's started as a copy boy when he was young. And he worked his way up to senior editor. He had no college degree, but he was quick to point out that these days the Sentinel wouldn't even look at an application that didn't boast a degree from somewhere.
I don't believe most people are so generally stupid that they can't grasp the concepts of many jobs if they were taught those jobs while working. Again, companies have lost the human aspect of employment. Sometimes all a person needs is a chance to succeed.
Some companies, or so they tell me, prefer to invest as little as possible in training and developing employees. Ideally they want the individual or government to pay for training and skills development. Makes economic sense, if you can get competent workers. After all a company is in business to make money for its owners, and controlling labor costs is a major issue.

The cost of education and training in colleges, universities and trade schools is high and rising so the individual has to invest his/her money or take a loan. The public seems to have less commitment to education and training than before the 1980s.

Competition from foreign labor complicates the situation. IF a job does not require physical presence in this country it can be sent to another country, many foreign governments finance education and training. Some employers find they can import labor, both illegal and legal to reduce labor costs.
There also seems to be opposition to worker groups that use traditional techniques such as apprentice programs that build skills on the job.

Another factor that is very important, especially since the 1990s is automation. Computer and information technology has greatly reduced the number of people needed for many business functions. That means higher productivity and a bigger bottom line.

The labor market has gone through major structural changes since WWII, to the workers advantage in the 1950s through the mid to late 1970s. The damaging trend for workers (hours/wages/benefits)will continue in the US for the an unknown time.
YouHelpFixIt

Dundalk, MD

#29 Jul 1, 2011
Wall Street Government wrote:
<quoted text> Our students scores in International competition, the scores in our own polling.
Please be specific. Show us the scores
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#30 Jul 2, 2011
YouHelpFixIt wrote:
<quoted text>
Please be specific. Show us the scores
I didn't find the actual test scores. There plenty of articles: Dec 7, 2010 12:04 PM ET www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-07/teens-in-u-... ...- Cached

Fifteen-year-olds in the U.S. ranked 25th among peers from 34 countries on a math test and scored in the middle in science and reading, while China’s Shanghai topped the charts, raising concern that the U.S. isn’t prepared to succeed in the global economy.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, which represents 34 countries, today released the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment. For the first time, the test broke out the performance of China’s Shanghai region, which topped every country in all academic categories. The U.S. government considers the test one of the most comprehensive measures of international achievement.
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#31 Jul 2, 2011
WeElectedABunchOfIdiots wrote:
<quoted text>
National Standards.
Results.
Accountability.
Three basic goals of the original NCLB as proposed by GWB.
They all work together, take one out, the plan fails.
Teachers and the liberal got rid of Accountability....
The other two can't be reached.
I agree with those three standards. I don't agree with your assessment.
Deng

Chengdu, China

#32 Jul 2, 2011
SO WHAT IS IT NOW, 60,000 FACTORIES CLOSED IN THE LAST 10 YEARS IN THE U.S.? AT THIS PACE THE UNITED STATES HAS A HUGE SURPLUS OF LABOR.
YouHelpFixIt

Dundalk, MD

#33 Jul 2, 2011
Wall Street Government wrote:
<quoted text> I didn't find the actual test scores. There plenty of articles: Dec 7, 2010 12:04 PM ET www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-07/teens-in-u-... ...- Cached
Fifteen-year-olds in the U.S. ranked 25th among peers from 34 countries on a math test and scored in the middle in science and reading, while China’s Shanghai topped the charts, raising concern that the U.S. isn’t prepared to succeed in the global economy.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, which represents 34 countries, today released the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment. For the first time, the test broke out the performance of China’s Shanghai region, which topped every country in all academic categories. The U.S. government considers the test one of the most comprehensive measures of international achievement.
The details are important, and you should know better than to confuse comparisons to other groups with changes in the results of a single group.

Also, you link does not work. Please try to post it again because I would like to read the article and look for the details of the test scores.

Here are the specific result that were in question (FL FCAT scores)
http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2011/defaul...
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#34 Jul 2, 2011
YouHelpFixIt wrote:
<quoted text>
The details are important, and you should know better than to confuse comparisons to other groups with changes in the results of a single group.
Also, you link does not work. Please try to post it again because I would like to read the article and look for the details of the test scores.
Here are the specific result that were in question (FL FCAT scores)
http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2011/defaul...
A different article: June 23, 2011 Maryland’s schools have earned top rankings and plaudits in recent years. Yet as students from other countries continue to outscore their U.S. counterparts on international math, science and reading tests, even here the demands for lifting caps on the number of charter schools, tying teacher pay to student performance, and revising or abolishing teacher seniority and tenure rules have grown more insistent. imesoftexas.com/2011/06/23/...students-lag-in... - Cached
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#35 Jul 2, 2011
YouHelpFixIt wrote:
<quoted text>
The details are important, and you should know better than to confuse comparisons to other groups with changes in the results of a single group.
Also, you link does not work. Please try to post it again because I would like to read the article and look for the details of the test scores.
Here are the specific result that were in question (FL FCAT scores)
http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2011/defaul...
The good link: timesoftexas.com/2011/06/23/...students-lag-i... - Cached
Wall Street Government

Vero Beach, FL

#36 Jul 2, 2011
Both links still bad, sorry.

Since: Aug 10

Decatur, GA

#37 Jul 5, 2011
Amber wrote:
<quoted text>
I hate to agree with you but you're right. I'd happily hire entry level employees, train them and promote from within; but when you give a test of general abilities and the candidate writes: "She say she have" what can you do with that?
That's not even a recent High School graduate; it's the grammer skills of people 25, 26, 27 years old.
I agree with you. But tell me how it is that many of these same people are accepted into college and can get a degree with the language skills of a 3rd grader?

Since: Aug 10

Decatur, GA

#38 Jul 5, 2011
questioner wrote:
<quoted text>
Some companies, or so they tell me, prefer to invest as little as possible in training and developing employees. Ideally they want the individual or government to pay for training and skills development. Makes economic sense, if you can get competent workers. After all a company is in business to make money for its owners, and controlling labor costs is a major issue.
The cost of education and training in colleges, universities and trade schools is high and rising so the individual has to invest his/her money or take a loan. The public seems to have less commitment to education and training than before the 1980s.
Competition from foreign labor complicates the situation. IF a job does not require physical presence in this country it can be sent to another country, many foreign governments finance education and training. Some employers find they can import labor, both illegal and legal to reduce labor costs.
There also seems to be opposition to worker groups that use traditional techniques such as apprentice programs that build skills on the job.
Another factor that is very important, especially since the 1990s is automation. Computer and information technology has greatly reduced the number of people needed for many business functions. That means higher productivity and a bigger bottom line.
The labor market has gone through major structural changes since WWII, to the workers advantage in the 1950s through the mid to late 1970s. The damaging trend for workers (hours/wages/benefits)will continue in the US for the an unknown time.
It will continue unless American workers wake up and realize what they are losing not just for themselves but especially for their children and grandchildren.

Since: Jan 07

Freeland, PA

#40 Jul 5, 2011
"tidy catz"I agree with you. But tell me how it is that many of these same people are accepted into college and can get a degree with the language skills of a 3rd grader?

Depending upon the state or the individual school, the answer lies in what in Pennsylvania is called "Act 101" and in some individual schools, "Choices." Schools seem to routinely accept underperforming students into "special programs" that provide tutoring and are allowed certain "accommodations" such as waiving subject requirements that must be met by other students.

I posted here before that I learned from a representative of a highly regarded Jesuit university that the school accepts a certain number of students who do not even meet the most minimal entrance requirements, knowing full well that their shelf life at the university will be, at most, a single semester. Any state or federal grants applied to such students then become "free money" for the school.

This individual did not elaborate on why the school would accept such marginal students but I am sure that there were guidelines, quotas or requirements that forced the issue. Another matter concerning colleges and the students they attract is cost. High schools continue to preach the fallacy that the best and brightest will automatically receive scholarships if they meet the criteria. I have seen more seniors than I can count absolutely devastated by the paltry offers they received in contrast to their classmates who spent more time in the assistant principal's "rubber room for the recalcitrant" than they did in class.

In effect, we are investing scholarship money and other forms of financial aid in students whose past records indicate neither interest nor initiative, rather than in those who will continue stellar academic records through their college years. Many bright, highly moticated students have to choose alternative routes to achieve their goals...two years in a community college before moving on to complete requirements for a bachelor's degree, as an example. Some attend night classes designed for working adults. Others are fortunate enough to work for an employer who will help subsidize their educations contingent upon their maintaining their grades and continuing to show progress on the job.

In effect, by removing an achievement standard for financial aid and scholarships, we are shutting out many of the best and brightest, and we see the results in the incompetence and ignorance that abounds in our society.

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