Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration, said on Thursday that a new job training pledge signed by 23 companies is a key step in filling millions of vacant skill positions.
According to the Washington Free Beacon: “A handful of major companies including FedEx, Walmart, and IBM signed the pledge Thursday to train thousands of American workers over the next five years in what McMahon called ‘public-private partnerships.'”
“This is not a government contribution program at this point, this is really public-private partnerships,” McMahon said. “Companies may be training a lot themselves, but hopefully they are also going to be working with our vocational schools, our community colleges, to say, what is it they need?”
“We have got a wonderful economy going, but we have about 6.7 million jobs that are vacant that we do not have the people to fill those jobs,” McMahon added. “I hear it from small businesses as well as large businesses.”
For decades, the push for all young adults to attend college resulted in trade schools being stigmatized as only for those who weren’t smart enough for college academics.
Since then, entire generations have run up massive student loan debt studying topics that the market didn’t need. Skilled trade workers are now very much in demand, and paying well.
Seeing the Trump Administration work with businesses to get people to make smarter decisions about education is a good thing. So is the growing public perception of these trades as honorable work and a path to prosperity, not merely something for those who aren’t bright enough to sit through hours upon hours of coursework on a topic that amounts to a future hobby.
With luck, these 6.7 million jobs can be filled, leading this generation to self sufficiency. This is the right move by the SBA and the right move for a whole lot of people trying to find their way in the world.