We usually talk about lawsuit-related issues on this blog and how abuse of the civil justice system makes life difficult for Americans working on Main Street. Today, I’d like to address another important issue affecting Main Street, too. Because, let’s be fair, if this economy is ever going to rebound, Main Street is going to lead the way.
My colleague at the Center for America, John Ratzenberger, has developed a Main Street jobs plan that is being unveiled this week. Yes, that’s right, John Ratzenberger has a new jobs plan. I understand you may know John as an actor, but before that, he was a carpenter, and he strongly believes that one of the keys to creating a better future for our country is to expand our skilled workforce.
By focusing on creating more jobs for skilled workers, John’s jobs plan addresses a huge problem that Wall Street and Washington haven’t fixed yet: the growing skills gap in our country. Even with unemployment in this recession at nine percent, there are still hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs going unfilled. Sadly, there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them, and the problem is going to get worse.
The average age of the American skilled worker is fifty-five years old, so there will be a shortage of ten million skilled workers by the year 2020 as these workers retire. This is a serious threat to our economy, so to raise awareness about the urgent need to address this situation, John and the Center for America are encouraging all Americans to sign the “10 By 20 Pledge for America.”
The idea is that America needs to jump-start skills training and that the effort to do this must begin in our own communities. It’s going to take a lot of cooperation, but it could take a big chunk out of unemployment and get America working again.
Learn more about John Ratzenberger’s plan for expanding the skilled workforce by clicking here. You can also see a video of John talking about the “Employing America” series for AOL Jobs Week 2011 here.
Let’s get started!