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JOBS: Companies expect public to pay for training

Letter by Andreas Udbye, University Place on May 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm with 9 Comments »
May 23, 2012 10:06 am

Two pieces on the same page (Thomas Friedman column and Viewpoint, 5-22) bemoaned the supposed lack of qualified and trained American workers.

Friedman fell for Microsoft’s old complaint about not being able to find people for thousands of unfilled jobs, and Vigor Industrial’s CEO lamented the fact that he cannot find workers with the requisite skills. Both companies and many others seem to expect that the education and public sector should provide them with “off-the-shelf,” ready-to-go labor with any skill sets at any time.

This is hardly realistic in a complex workplace with increasing specialization and rapidly changing technologies and tools. Colleges can only prepare their students to a certain level, after which the employers need to take charge and provide relevant on-the-job training.

I suspect many companies have cut back on training programs and apprenticeships, expecting the rest of us to carry the burden of properly preparing candidates. This is not realistic.

With today’s unemployment rate, there are millions of well-educated, talented and eager Americans out here. Take the effort to hire them and train them. That is how companies ultimately develop the desired skill sets.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    Basic Reading, Writing and Math have to be mastered first. That’s mostly what companies lament. Fifteen years ago, I worked at the Panasonic Micro-Chip Fab in Puyallup. The were more than willing to train for a few monthes, but if one cannot do High School math, or communicate, what’s the use of bringing them on in the first place?

  2. concernedtacoma7 says:

    There is a difference between off the shelf, some training required, an a fully unqualified candidate. You cannot take someone who majored in women’s studies or a dead language and expect a company to make them an engineer. You cannot expect companies to train a forklift operator if the candidate cannot read the manual.

    And instead of ‘suspecting’, why not do some research? You felt passionately enough to write a letter but then expected someone else to do the rest. Typical.

  3. blakeshouse says:

    When all there is is the insidious system that portends to teach in this state does nothing but socialist indoctrination burger flippers are all that will be available and they are at the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

  4. menopaws says:

    Please–give me a break. Mr. Gates for all his lamenting about poor education, has no difficulty hiring Indians and providing them with green cards to work at Microsoft. He pays them less and lays off long term, more expensive employees: American citizens. So, save me his big push for better education—he and Ballmer have hired a number of Indian citizens for the US Microsoft campus and have two huge facilities over in India. They have shipped jobs and technology overseas and I sincerely hope they pay a price for that behavior. How do I know this? My husband works for Microsoft and has watched some very talented people be shown the door for cheaper green card staff. He is a few months away from retirement and his loyalty for Microsoft dissipated as he watched the talented leave…..This is their excuse for all those foreign employees–but the truth lies in their bottom line. Under Mr. Ballmer, costs and integrity have both been cut.

  5. aislander says:

    It is to the advantage of statists to produce a populace that depends on the state…

  6. Mr Gates no longer works there. Lets bury our heads and let the world out train our kids.

  7. menopaws says:

    Yep ,Theo, his redemption for turning his corporation over to a Wal- Mart groupie is to save try to the world. I applaud his efforts, but he is still the chairman of the board at Microsoft……If he plans to phone it in–maybe Paul Allen or someone else of real integrity needs to come back…….Redemption doesn’t come from turning your back on the people who helped make your money for you–whether or not you keep it or give it away……..Lots of good people have been replaced by cheaper, green card staff….Accountability matters and if you are going to testify about our educational system–maybe he should shove some of his $$$ into better training for American workers………But, hey—it’s all about philanthropy, and publicity, right??? Saving the world requires more press than effort…….

  8. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The same crowd that calls for multiculturalism now calls for ethnic protectionism. You globalist hypocrite.

    Unless you are Elizabeth Warren, at some point your family immigrated here also. You wish they had the skills to fall into a well paying MSFT job.

    Stop defending the loafers, the soft learning #ows entitlement crowd and encourage kids to pursue degrees that are productive.

    Bill Gates gave away his fortune for publicity? You are truly off your rocker.

  9. commoncents says:

    why do people expect the labor market to be any different than any other market out there? If you pay better you will draw the better candidates. It’s that simple. A fifteen year old boy just developed a better and cheaper way of detecting pancreatic cancer. FIFTEEN!!!! Don’t tell me that we can’t compete with anyone. However, these brillaint minds are largely drawn to Wall Street because that’s where the money is. Real money is made not in production or innovation but in reallocation of wealth and that’s sad.

    You want engineers? Raise the damned salaries and make their jobs more stable and you’ll get more engineers. Stability means something…Why do you think govt jobs are in demand. As for money? Provide scholarships to entice the brilliant minds into the field. If you are Microsoft and you want IT folks then pay the best and the brightest to educate themselves in that field. Pay the 50 brightest HS math and computer minds in the state of washington 20k per year to attend college at the UW where they have a developed curriculum to fit what MS needs? total cost is 2,000,000 a year to ensure a pipeline of candidates. 2 million is a drop in their budget bucket!

    It is beyond me why corporations expect people to come to them..they need to go recruit the talent and the earlier the better.

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