Poverty, Shrinking Workforce, and Low-Skill Workers: A National Crisis

High-Skilled Jobs and Low-Skilled Workers

This is a problem -- closer to a crisis -- that few of our national leaders bother to discuss. Too many high-skilled high-paying jobs are going unfilled. Met any unemployed computer engineers lately? Not likely you will.

Jobs, jobs, jobs may be the battle cry of the 2012 election but it is skills, skills, skills that are the real problem. Moreover, the lack of high-tech skills in our working population is impeding our future economic growth.

When I graduated from high school in the early '70s, men who did not go to college often became auto mechanics. That path is not as easy anymore. Today, mechanics are highly paid and sought after because they require extensive computer training and certification to work on cars that have become computers on wheels.

How does our economy create low-skilled but adequate wage jobs for the growing number of low-skilled or no-skilled American workers? Solving that dilemma is the key to lifting half of our population out of poverty.

Innovative programs must be developed to help create a new middle class to supplement the current one that is shrinking fast. If we are unable to do that, then continued decline is the economic forecast for 2012 and beyond.