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View Diary: The secret of the so-called "skills gap" (191 comments)

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  •  Another issue (here in MKE) (13+ / 0-)

    came to light with a company who wanted to build a minority workforce and had some grants to do it.

    Ultimately, the project failed. There were two reasons, and it wasn't "lack of skills," unwillingness to work for low wages or even a desire to unionize.

    1. prospective employees failed the drug test (pot.) We need to DECRIMINALIZE that.

    2. workers couldn't get to the job on public transportation.

    If your workforce can't actually get to the job, you have failure baked into it. MKE transit was gutted by Scotty Walker when he was MKE County Executive. We're still trying to mop up after that mess.

    •  Good point about transportation. (12+ / 0-)

      For many low wage jobs that can be a real issue.

      Also, another thing is an unwillingness to hire former felons. We have a lot of people who have criminal records thanks to our "War on Drugs."

    •  It really wouldn't cost that much (8+ / 0-)

      to provide transport to low income workers.  The equivalent of airporter transport busses and vans.

      Probably less than paying them enough to afford a car and provide parking space.

      They're just too fucking cheap to think that way.

      Hell, my company provides bus service to people who live near the old corporate headquarters/complex to the new one (which is a very nasty commute away in time, if not in miles), and we're all payed plenty well enough to afford to drive.

      Penny cheap and pound foolish.  Ford had it right - you want your workers to be able to afford your products (and to afford to get to work, etc)

      •  Companies that offshore (3+ / 0-)

        find that pretty typically they have to provide transportation and even housing for workers, and their own power, communications, and security infrastructure.

        Interestingly, commuter transport is reasonably common among companies with skilled workers. Keeps them from having to drive in heavy traffic.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:57:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, my company (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          which actually seems to win awards for social responsibility in spite of being multinational manufacturing company...

          Has built roads, flood prevention stuff, added power infrastructure and even in one place built a hospital to service the workers.

          We tend to build near major population centers and then develop our workers.  The typical employee is long service, even in the factories.  Our products have very high quality requirements, so we need skilled workers, and we pay for the privilege in a variety of ways.

          Because transport is so cheap, it is still less expensive to do things this way than to manufacture in the USA.  Higher gas prices have encouraged us to move final assembly and customization closer to the end customer though, and efforts are ongoing in Brazil, Eurozone, and, yes, USA to ship and warehouse standardized products that can be customized at the last second with firmware changes and package assembly for different customers and markets.

          What will bring manufacturing closer to the customers will be more expensive transport.  In the heyday of the bakeries in USA (eg, Hostess before they got bought by bankers) you had bakeries scattered geographically so no product had to be shipped very far (ensuring it stayed fresh longer).   In that case the cost of long distance transport was spoilage, rather than simple freight costs, but the same mechanism may come into play as petrofuels get more and more expensive.

      •  I've seen it done to transport sales help to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        a shopping mall that was located in an area that was expensive for miles around.

    •  No one wants to have impaired workers (7+ / 0-)

      especially not running machinery. They're also worried that they'll be stuck with people who are regularly impaired, and that it will be hard to fire them if they don't work out.

      Better than drug testing is a simple impairment test that can be run before the workday starts and the worker is going to the machinery. It's basically a video game testing reaction times. This correctly measures the outcome you need - is this worker alert enough to operate this machinery successfully today - without so much concern about the reason (the flu, a hangover, drug use, lack of sleep, whatever). Of course, then you need a plan for people who come to work who are not alert enough to do their regular job that day.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:55:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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