Sunday, June 04, 2006

Herbert Taps into Talent

Bob Herbert's New York Times op ed describes a forward thinking program, dubbed SkillWorks, designed to educate unskilled workers and raise their earning horizons while training them for difficult to fill jobs in areas lacking trained workers.

I applaud the program, both it's pragmatism and idealism.

Untapped Talent
By Bob Herbert
The New York Times
At a time when the American dream has moved all but completely out of the reach of low-paid and poorly educated individuals comes a modest but promising joint effort by business, government, union and nonprofit leaders in the greater Boston area to open new doors to good jobs and higher standards of living.

We waste human potential in this country the way some people waste toilet tissue. For example, a person who is a part-time janitor is generally thought to be going nowhere. There's no upside to the job, and it certainly won't pay for the basic needs of a family. But what if that janitor could be trained and guided into work as a painter, an electrician, a groundskeeper or a custodial supervisor?

Why shouldn't someone who changes sheets in a hospital, or delivers meals to patients, be offered the education and training necessary to become a surgical technician, or radiologic technologist, or registered nurse?
Read more.

Photo credit: Bob Herbert. (The New York Times)

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