Check out our Op-Ed featured in The Hill.
Put on any cable news network and the last thing politicians or media pundits in Washington DC are talking about is jobs.
A job is more than a paycheck. It is a symbol of the strength of our economy and a lens into how our American society treats our families and communities. At a time when many promises have been made about the new direction of our country I am interested not just in hearing but seeing action. I call on not just this administration but all elected officials to act to find ways to tackle the workforce challenges that are endangering opportunity for so many Americans. I call on them to stop complaining about jobs that are being outsourced if they are not prepared to fix the problems here at home.
The new administration and new congress need to find ways to ensure that jobs both stay and expand in America. Unfortunately, they are doing a poor job selling any type of action plan on this issue. Instead, the sad reality is we are living in a time where government is failing to incentivize and motivate business owners to invest in their employees.
There are jobs out there. I hear it constantly from owners and managers that struggle to find the right candidate. I talk to companies every day that are looking to hire but the problem is they struggle to find skilled workers that can step in and start on day one.
So where should we start? Washington, D.C. must tackle our education system that has gotten our workers in this mess over the last two decades. The failure of higher education begins with a focus on growing their endowments instead of growing their students. Instead of a focus on delivering an education that actually prepares young people for the workforce there has been a focus on locking workers into loan programs that will take decades to pay down. However, if we fulfill the reality of giving all workers access to the training and education needed to succeed — then we will really have a force of workers that will grow businesses, grow opportunities, grow communities and grow themselves.
Another reality we are not prepared for is the fact that our workers are different today. Everybody is talking about millennials that struggle in the workforce, and if you are not worn out by those references rest assured because we have a whole new group coming up behind them looking for work –Generation Z. With massive skill gaps caused by growing up in a time where technology has taken the place of face to face communication and at a time when higher education is failing to properly prepare students for the workforce challenges of today, young people are struggling to find their footing in today’s workforce.
And it is almost as if right when we are going to start to fix the skill gaps we are discussing a new curveball. Automation. In the next 20 years as much as 30 percent of the tasks that make up 60 percent of jobs will be at risk of automation. How will we properly not just re-skill our workers, but how will we upskill workers in all new job functions because the old roles have been eliminated?
Everyone that works hard deserves to be trained. Today, we have to challenge teachers to better challenge their students. We have to challenge universities to update their curriculum to align with what American businesses need in workers today. We have to challenge politicians and policy makers to create benefits and reward business owners that hire and invest in their employees. We have to challenge Washington to stop shackling our young workforce with unrealistic and overpriced college loan debt and give them the freedom to pursue their path. It’s time that something is done before it’s too late.
Sam Caucci is founder & CEO of 1Huddle.