Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Greek chaos; education vs immigration

As I waited breathlessly for the vote in Greece on austerity measures that would determine the direction of the U.S. markets this week, listening to CNBC and driving into work, I caught the end of an interview with Michael Dell of Dell Computers.
The one-time kind of computer companies has struggled of late, though their cash reserves are heavy and their optimism of the future remains publicly strong.
In talking about the health of the American company, they ended with a bit on the jobs market, perhaps the most important part of the U.S. economy right now. Dell said that it's not easy getting the skilled employees. They questioned him about that, noting the high unemployment. Dell noted that yes there's unemployment, which is why for a 100 jobs in a warehouse, 10,000 people will show up.
However, when needing to find educated employees to filled highly skilled positions, it's a struggle to find the qualified candidates. Did they talk about reforms that could help? You bet ya. Dell said it may be helpful to have some kind of immigration reform to help companies find the employees that will help them thrive in their fields.
Education reform? Not a mention. Of course, Dell has a company to run now and such a long-term solution helps him not at all, but with all this chatter nationwide about teachers, tenure, the waste of money spent on schooling and education, well, it seems like we're not going to find smarter workers if we keep cutting on education.
Here's some of the comments on the story about MEA officials feeling that teachers are being attacked when tenure is targeted.
In the short-term, we may need some kind of reform to get the skilled workers into the jobs that will help companies grow and succeed. Success in one area breeds success in others, just as auto companies doing well means suppliers do well, meaning jobs create jobs as long as jobs are boosting the economy.
Here's a story on the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. This is a real problem, and it doesn't fit into the current political arguments to keep immigrants out and to cut as much out of education as possible. It's like we (or some of us) are shooting ourselves in both feet.
But to get past this problem, we'll also need long-term solutions to boost and improve our education system. We need smarter workers.
Oh, and great coverage on CNBC about world's markets reacting to the fighting in the streets outside as inside the Greek parliament voted on drastic cost cutting, something we here may face one day.

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