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A newsworthy number came out of McKinsey & Company’s recently released report Education to Employment: Designing a System That Works: according to estimates by the International Labour Organization, 75 million young people are unemployed worldwide. When taking into account the number of young people underemployed, 75 million triples to an even more astounding 225 million.
Usually this time of year, we dedicate this space to our annual plea to Santa Claus with all the things we had hoped to find under our tree. Despite being good boys and girls for several years now, our list is still mostly untouched and unfulfilled. Since Santa is apparently a selfish bloke, we’re taking our wish list to a slightly less miserly entity—Congress.
A sound economy, thriving business sector, and commitment to equal opportunity are three factors that have played a vital role in developing and maintaining the United States’ position as a world leader. We must remain committed to these factors to ensure our continued global success, and to do that, we must cultivate our greatest resource—the people who live and work here.
In the November 2011 State of Young America poll conducted by Young Invincibles and Dēmos, half of Americans aged 18 to 34 surveyed said they expected to be worse off than their parents. Even more disconcerting, more than three-quarters of those surveyed believed that the American middle class was disappearing. The bleak moods behind these findings are unsettling at best—alarming at worst—and are underscored by the latest Center for Labor Market Studies research indicating that teen and young adult employment rates have dropped to a new post-World War II low.
High-tech manufacturing companies like Boeing are concerned about the United States’ ability to sustain its leadership role in technology and innovation. The state of American education—and even the academic rigor required to earn an engineering degree—has become a frequent talking point at the national level. Some even mistakenly theorize that our students are not up to the challenge of studying engineering, math, and science because it’s just too hard. The answer to this national crisis lies not in changing the engineering, math, and science curriculum but in changing learning environments and how these subjects are taught.
By Sean Hackbarth
By Sean Hackbarth
As if oil and gas permit restrictions on federal lands and ill-considered regulation weren’t big enough obstacles to energy development, the lack of skilled workers is also hamstringing the energy industry and our economy.