Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need

Everybody’s heard the complaints about recruiting lately.

Even with unemployment hovering around 9%, companies are grousing that they can’t find skilled workers, and filling a job can take months of hunting.

Employers are quick to lay blame. Schools aren’t giving kids the right kind of training. The government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants. The list goes on and on.

But I believe that the real culprits are the employers themselves.

With an abundance of workers to choose from, employers are demanding more of job candidates than ever before. They want prospective workers to be able to fill a role right away, without any training or ramp-up time.

In other words, to get a job, you have to have that job already. It’s a Catch-22 situation for workers—and it’s hurting companies and the economy. (Read more.)

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Via Peter Cappelli, Wall Street Journal.

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Among Minorities, a New Wave of ‘Disconnected Youth’

Men and women in their late teens and early 20s are struggling, but some are especially hard hit.

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, the unemployment rate last year among high-school dropouts between ages 16 and 24 was 29%—up from 17.7% in 2000 and seven points higher than that of their peers who finished high school but didn’t go on to college.

The problem is particularly acute among Hispanics and African-Americans. Several studies have found that only about 50% of black and Hispanic students graduate from high school, compared with 75% of white students.

Up to 40% of the young people in these communities qualify as “disconnected youth,” the term for young adults who are neither in school nor working, says David Dodson, president of MDC Inc., a research organization in Durham, N.C.

“They’ve given up hope,” says Phillip Jackson, executive director of Chicago’s Black Star Project, which helps African-American youth stay in school. He estimates that 75% to 80% of the young black men in Chicago are jobless. (Read more.)

Via Lauren Weber, Wall Street Journal

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ESCONDIDO: Adult School Begins Semester With New Courses

Enrollment is expected to be up at Escondido Adult School this fall despite some significant fee increases to certain classes, Principal Dom Gagliardi said.

“They’re coming in pretty strong,” Gagliardi said Thursday about enrollment figures. “Frankly I wasn’t sure, because there’s been some raised prices.”

Classes at the school began Tuesday, and other classes are scheduled to begin next week, he said.

The school had 7,770 students enrolled in its Adult Education program last year and 2,658 enrolled in its Regional Occupation Program.

Gagliardi said the two programs have different funding sources from the state. Adult Education offers a variety of courses that include career technical education classes, while ROP classes are only in career technical education.

About 500 students also were enrolled in the school’s community education classes last year, he said.

The school moved into a new home at 220 W. Crest St. in Escondido last year. Gagliardi said he was concerned that enrollment might drop because of the move, but the school ended up serving 2,000 more students in 2010 than in the previous year.

The wide variety of courses at the school range from $25 classes in crocheting to $3,600 courses that can lead to a career in the health field.

New this year in Adult Education is a phlebotomy technician training program, a $2,695 course that requires 48 classroom hours and 40 externship hours, as well as an online electronic health records systems technician course that costs $3,600 and requires 216 study hours over 18 weeks.

“All classes related to allied health careers are filling up,” Gagliardi said about the popular programs. Read more>>

Via Gary Warth, Escondido, North County Times.

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Buying College: What Consumers Need to Know

This is an excerpt from a report by the Center for American  Progress. For more details or to download the report go to the bottom of the article.

“If only I’d known then what I know now” seems to be a common lament from college graduates these days. We hear it from students who attended for-profit institutions only to find that their skills are not marketable but their debt will haunt them for the next 30 years. But we also hear it from law school graduates who feel their institutions sold them on the dream of a $150,000 salary when all they got was $150,000 in student loan debt and a temp job reviewing documents. Students’ lack of information when making college choices costs individuals the opportunity to create a better future for themselves and it costs taxpayers when students use federal grants and loans and state subsidies to pursue overpriced or underperforming educational programs.

Better and more timely information must be part of any strategy to get more students into and through college while also addressing the problems of increasing loan defaults and students with credentials but no jobs. CAP advocates for an expanded federal role in providing information resources to college-bound students. But the federal government’s approach to providing information must fundamentally change from dumping data onto websites to targeting information to individuals, taking into account the job that information should accomplish. In broad terms, that job is helping students make better choices, but there are several ways to improve choice making. For instance, we can protect students from poor-performing programs by disclosing key data, or we can help students compare across institutions to make the best choice among them. Also, we can encourage students to choose programs that are a best fit for their learning style, aptitudes, and educational goals, or to become more conscious of college options well before they make the choice of where to enroll.

So far, the federal government approaches all of these improvements to college choice by making data available in an indiscriminate way through postings on federal websites and limited disclosures on college marketing materials. And there is very little evidence that students and families even look at this information, let alone integrate it into their choices. To ensure that information is more effective, it must be organized around the ways it can improve choice.

Download the pdf and read more.

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