A harder line on softer skills: If young people can master PhotoShop, can’t they figure out alarm clocks?

A generation raised on MacBooks and PhotoShop can surely figure out alarm clocks and get to work on time. (AP Images)

A generation raised on MacBooks and PhotoShop can surely figure out alarm clocks and get to work on time. (AP Images)

When state Rep. Margaret Kaiser, D-Atlanta, visited the Kia plant in West Point, she said the automakers told her that they don’t need young workers with college degrees.

“They can take kids with high school diplomas and teach them what they need to know. But they need them to show up on time. Kids do not understand everyday workforce requirements,” Kaiser said.

The state wants to fix that by integrating “soft skills” into the high school curriculum and awarding students certificates to show that they have mastered these skills — skills that were once known as good manners and work ethic.

One of the simplest definitions of soft skills comes from management coach Peggy Klaus, author of “The Hard Truth About Soft Skills.” She explains that while hard skills are the factual and technical talents that workers bring to their jobs, soft skills represent their ability to get along with colleagues, sell their ideas, get to work on time, problem solve and motivate others.

Many people lament the spotty interpersonal skills and work ethic of the millennial generation, the media-savvy teenagers who can command MacBooks and PhotoShop but apparently can’t figure out an alarm clock.

But do these students need primers on workplace etiquette, from Intro to Punctuality and Saggy Pants 101?

Won’t they learn those lessons on their own once they’re fired a few times for showing up late or baring their skull-head tattoos at work?

A comprehensive career and college readiness bill passed this year by the General Assembly authorizes the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to establish certification in soft skills such as punctuality, ability to learn, appropriate business attire and the ability to work as a team.

The workforce development office is holding 31 town hall meetings across the state to find out what employers want, what parents think and what high schools ought to do to convince their students that there’s more to keeping a job than making an appearance now and then.

Millennials grew up in a society that rewarded them for just showing up, said Deborah Covin Wilson, senior adviser for career support Georgia Tech, at a town hall meeting Thursday at DeKalb Technical College in Clarkston.

“On a soccer team, everybody gets a trophy whether you win or lose. Because you came, you get a trophy,” she said. “If you grow up like that, you think that if you just barely got to work and didn’t do anything, then you have the right to stay there.”

=State Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale, who is also a college professor, told the town hall audience that she locks the door to her classroom once she begins teaching to impress on students that they can’t waltz in late.

Calling them “people skills” rather than soft skills, Drenner said: “Students don’t really know that showing up to work on time is, in fact, part of work. This generation of millennials is a lot different than baby boomers. They can work an iPad and they can text, which are all great skill sets. But they do need help with communicating with people, forming teams and dressing appropriately.”

Sheryl Chapman, director of DeKalb Workforce Development, says her agency counsels hundreds of teen job seekers. One of the first pieces of advice she gives teens as they arrive at her Decatur office in revealing outfits or sagging pants, “You can either work or you can be fashionable.”

With some students graduating high school unable to read on grade level or perform basic math, critics argue that schools don’t have time to instruct students in workplace niceties, instruction that ought to occur in the home.

As a parent commented here on the blog last week, “No, this is not the school’s job. It’s the parent’s job. There is absolutely no reason to legislate this or make some sort of certification. It is just common sense and taking pride in one’s self.”

Melvin Everson, a former state representative and now executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, counters that soft skills have an economic impact both on individuals and the state.

He cites research that a lack of soft skills accounts for 45 percent of the employees fired during probationary periods on new jobs. Many employers complain to him that their interns have no idea how to answer a phone, dress for an office setting, work in a group or greet clients.

“This is not to replace what is going to be done at home,” Everson said. “But if it is not being done at home, there is a role we have to play to make sure our workforce is prepared to be the best it can possibly be so when industries and business come knocking on the doors of Georgia, they will be able to say we have a workforce in Georgia that they can pull from and put to work.”

If industries can’t find that workforce in Georgia, Everson said, “They are going to look to North Carolina, Florida or Alabama. Or, even worse, they are going to look overseas.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

107 comments Add your comment

William Casey

August 15th, 2011
2:16 pm

Simply integrate “soft skills” into regular classes. Make high school the “job” that it ought to be. No need for special classes and expensive curriculum, texts, etc.

Ernest

August 15th, 2011
2:20 pm

Good point by William Casey however you could begin implementing this as early as elementary school. It comes down to setting expectations of behavior and being consistent with any penalties.

Good Mother

August 15th, 2011
2:28 pm

I would like to be an advocate of this program. I agree with the critics that school should not have to teach these skills because they are best learned at home but the issue is that they are not being taught at home.

Here is an example of what I frequently experience: The cashier is on her cell phone at Rite Aid. She is obviously having a casual conversation with a friend. I wait patiently for her to end her conversation and allow me to purchase my items. I wait and she glares at me. She thinks I am being impolite because I shouldn’t stand there and wait for her to end her conversation. She thinks I am being rude.

She doesn’t understand the difference between the work environment and the social environment. If I was in her home and she was on the phone it would be rude for me to stand there and wait on her. I should give her privacy but in the work environment she should immediately tell her friend she has a customer to wait on and she needs to end her personal phone call immediately.

I experience the same thing when two employees are talking to one another. They are having a personal conversation and they are ignoring me as I wait patiently at the counter to purchase the items.

I also hired two nannies this year. Both quit days before they would have started. They were both college students and both were hired weeks in advance of their first working day. A few days before they were to start. They both did not understand why two days notice was not enough.

I did hire two more nannies both the same age and economic background as the other two who quit; however, those two worked out beautifully.

I agree Ernest and William

August 15th, 2011
2:31 pm

Yes, integrate it into the curriculum we already have, good point. School is your job. You have to shwo up on time, be properly dressed and you must be polite.

Bruce Kendall

August 15th, 2011
2:43 pm

Many of these soft skills are supposed to be addressed daily at school. These same soft skills make children better students, and improve learning in the classroom. Things like dress code, punctuality, polite, positive, and participate, and others should be a part of normal classroom dynamics and structure. If they are not then it makes both teaching and learning almost impossible.

If your school is following Ga. DoE guidelines, they are teaching “Academic Parenting” classes, making parents partners in the process to “Building Better Students.”

If they are not, then they have not planned to succeed!

drew (former teacher)

August 15th, 2011
2:46 pm

Yeah…what Mr. Casey said.

+++++++

“This is not to replace what is going to be done at home,” Everson said. “But if it is not being done at home, there is a role we have to play…

No, it is NOT a role you HAVE to play. It’s just another example of using schools as a dumping ground for solving whatever “social problem of the week”. Don’t schools have disciplinary plans in place to deal with students who are tardy and/or absent, as well as those who don’t know how to dress. And that’s enough.

After all, social skills aren’t measured on standardized tests, right?

MannyT

August 15th, 2011
2:52 pm

Our communities used to take care of these issues. What happened? If the students doesn’t learn these things at home, they have to learn them somewhere.

These are real job related issues, but will the schools have the resources and time to add this to the list of things to teach? What goes when we add another class/program? Will the school day be longer? Do the students get less Language Arts, Math, Science or Social Studies?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

August 15th, 2011
2:56 pm

Hopefully, the Age of Austerity will bring an end to the Era of Excuses.

me

August 15th, 2011
3:04 pm

Maybe we should send teachers home with them to wipe their bottoms too?
Good Lord

Inman Park Boy

August 15th, 2011
3:14 pm

Lord, the things schools have to attend to these days!! In the oast we left to schools the “Three R’
s” and pafents pretty much took care of the rest. Next we’ll have a government worker in each home making sure the milk is poured onto the sugary cereal.

Ashley

August 15th, 2011
3:29 pm

Are we molding these kids to go out into the real world or are we raising a bunch of morons. These same kids will camp out all night for concert ticket or the latest electronic gadget. Schools are in the business of teaching core classes and academics not cuddling johnny or suzy who are late all the time. There job is to be on time, how hard can that be? Wonder how long there parents would have a job if he/she were late all the time? Years ago when schools were in the business of education , being late resulted in one phrase” you’re late go to the principal office”. When do students become responsible for being on time? I tell you when….when schools decide they are in the teaching profession and not the Miss Manners business, leave that to their parents and let them deal with the consequences.

Mid GA Teacher

August 15th, 2011
3:37 pm

This is all fine and well, but our first love is test scores and that is part of the reason that these “soft skills” are not emphasized anymore. Go to any needs improvement school and the children are given chance after chance after chance. There are never any negative consequences for being late or absent as students in ISS are missing instruction and thus, the school test scores are the ultimate loser. The state needs to make up its mind. On one hand, there are no excuses for any child not to learn, schools are only for instruction, and anything that interferes with academic instruction is a barrier that must be removed. On the other, it is the school’s job to teach work ethic, people skills, how to get along with others, pride, and time management, .

Jeez, would you folks in the Dome figure out what it is you want me to do!!!

concerned

August 15th, 2011
4:20 pm

Seriously…this has to be a joke. When are parents going to be held responsible for their children? You should see the tardy sign in sheets at my school. Parents can’t get their middle school students out of bed and to school on time. There are students 30 minutes, or more, late for school every day. Why should that be the responsibility of the teacher? What can a teacher do? When administration does not support the dress code and the school system doesn’t care about tardies then how can teachers instill such things?

Parents check their children out school early every day at my school. One quarter I had more than half my students miss my last class more than seventeen times each. How do teachers control that? As a teacher I do not have any control over tardies, absences, or early check outs. When I talk to parents there is ALWAYS an excuse. I’m tired of being told teachers should reward students for these “soft skills.” These should be expectations and there should be punishments if the expectations are not met. That’s the way it worked at my house growing up and I’ve always dressed appropriately for work, I’ve never been late for work, and I’ve never been fired from a job. Until parents wake up and become parents our work force will continue to suffer.

Good Mother

August 15th, 2011
4:23 pm

Ashely says “I tell you when….when schools decide they are in the teaching profession and not the Miss Manners business, leave that to their parents and let them deal with the consequences.”

I strongly agree with what you said except that parents aren’t the ones who have to deal with the consequences, you and I, as tax payers, have to deal with the consequences. When someone doesn’t have the “etiquette” to know to show up on time and gets fired — or doesn’t get hired in the first place, we pay for her and her children’s living expenses through social programs.

I’d like to think of it as an extension of vo-tech. We teacher vocations in high school. I think we should also teach “people skills” or whatever it is they want to call them in school through consequences and by leading by example.

My son’s teacher showed up to work in a sloppy T-shirt and baggy sweat pants every day. Her first item on her schedule was to eat her big Krystal’s breakfast of egss, bacon, grits and coffee.

Beside her desk was a list of items we parents were supposed to bring for the homeless. On the list was the item “deoderent.”

She led by poor example. She showed the children that you can show up to work looking like a slob, unprepared (hadn’t even eaten yet) and do sloppy work.

Cere

August 15th, 2011
4:29 pm

My son had an English teacher in high school who assigned a group project. The groups had to write and produce a magazine. My son’s group members, except one contributed nothing. He called, pestered, emailed, etc, yet no one produced their share. One other student wrote one story, which he emailed at 11 pm the night before the project was due. My son ended up writing and producing the entire magazine (including making up ads!) He truthfully took credit in all the by lines except one. The teacher gave him an “F”. She admonished him for not including the other students names. He explained that they didn’t contribute. She said it didn’t matter, it was a group project and they should have been included. (This was at the Great Lakeside!)

Cere

August 15th, 2011
4:30 pm

Do you think those kids learned a lesson about work ethic? They sure did!

LHS '84

August 15th, 2011
4:49 pm

It’s not the parents’ responsibility to get the kids to school on time – it’s the KIDS’ job!

If I missed the school bus as a teenager, then – too bad, so sad – I had to walk to school and face the consequences if I arrived late. Sure learned my lesson!

Fast forward years… one of my daughters is a dilly-dallier. She learned her lesson about getting ready on time when the car left for school with only her sister on board. I drove her to school at my leisure when I got home. (Dad was inconvenienced with his work by having to stay home in the interim.) Daughter got a big, fat TARDY – but she learned her lesson, and for the rest of that school year and ever since, we now have plenty to time to depart for school in the morning.

Teach these kids responsibility as early as possible!

To LHS '84 from Good Mom

August 15th, 2011
4:56 pm

So what do you do if the parents don’t care if their kid gets to school on time or if the kid rides with the parent to school and the parent is the one making them late?

I’m not sure but I would like to consider fining the parent and putting parents in jail if they won’t get their kids to school on time.

There has to be early consequences for everyone, I believe. Consequences for the parents, the kids and even the teachers if the teachers are at fault.

We have to make everyone responsibile for their actions.

Ashley

August 15th, 2011
4:56 pm

@Cere…sorry to hear that happen to your son, but in this never-ending chaotic school situation, its always the “GOOD” student who pays the price for the unruly or “I could give a rat a** student” …..and the cycle continues, hopefully your son has been richly rewarded for his education.

long time educator

August 15th, 2011
5:02 pm

There is a real resistance by today’s parents to having their children reap any real consequences. If homework is not done, they say, “It’s my fault; I kept him out too late. Don’t punish him.’ Tardies in elementary ARE really the parents’ fault, so what is a fair consequence? If a child checks out early and keeps missing the same class, there should naturally be a reflection in the grade, but parents expect to be able to make all late work up right before the end of a grade period with no consequence. Grades truly DO NOT reflect timely work effort or ability. We must give tests over and over until mastery. The child knows he will be given multiple chances, so no pressure to study. Even if he fails the CRCT, he will usually be socially promoted. If they don’t have a work ethic when they enter the work world, it is because we have taught them there are no consequences to being lazy, late, or impolite.This is at the demand of their parents who have been told by education reformers that they are the customer and they are in charge. Educators no longer run the show.

BehindEnemyLines

August 15th, 2011
5:09 pm

As I said the first time around on this, as uncharacteristic as it is for me, I believe it’s a much tougher question than it might appear at first blush.

Above all else, in this economy particularly, schools ought to be preparing students for _something_. College & then the workplace, vocational training & then the workplace, or additional OJT in the workplace. (notice the common thread?)

It seems like a fair argument that the “soft skills” are a valid part of a curriculum, at least if the end goal includes producing a high percentage of employable graduates.

Is it sad that these things aren’t acquired through parental example and/or social pressure? Sure, and that’s a reasonable goal to work toward afaic. Reality is that those influences aren’t holding up their end of the bargain at the moment, so either these things are taught in the schools or we deal with a steady stream of unemployables flowing out of schools. In this case, it seems to me that teaching the skills — however sad an indictment of society the need may be — is preferable to processing more long-term recipients of the dole.

I’d rather sharply limit the size & scope of the dole itself, but until that becomes reality then I’m left to deal with things as they are rather than as I wish they were.

SallyB

August 15th, 2011
5:09 pm

I am going to begin again with “back in the day”, because even though we all know it is not the teacher’s/school system’s job to teach these skills, many of the things mentioned here were taught “back in the day”. And sooner or later, we must get real and realize that we have NO control over how parents parent their kids ! So for the betterment of our country/society, we must do something.

As I have posted here before, EVERY TIME incorrect English, EVERY student was corrected, there were SERIOUS consequences for being tardy to school, whether it be humiliation in front of the class or standing in the corner or writing 100 times ‘I will not/….”

There MUST be the CHOICE of another path to high school graduation besides college prep. That path MUST include these so-called “soft skills” in the program. It has not been so long ago that these other paths were removed. {Wouldn’t hurt to include them in college prep paths either as I hear from business execs all the time that something like this is needed badly.

Tenacity

August 15th, 2011
5:10 pm

DITTO to everything long time educator said!! We are in the 2nd week of school and entirely too MANY kids are just now getting to school. The parents are citing family vacation as a reason to excuse the absences. I’m completely floored! Our teachers began teaching Aug.8. It is now Aug.15. SAD, SAD state of affairs we’re in. Parents and kids alike have an entitlement complex and it’s sickening!

A Conservative Voice

August 15th, 2011
5:10 pm

Well, you see, this is the way it is……they are allowed in school with those revealing outfits, baggy pants, short shorts and they just assume this is the way it is in real life. No discipline in our schools….go to a private school (Woodward is a good example) and see what the kids wear…..even on days when they don’t have to wear their uniforms, they are properly dressed……yeah, it’s called good parenting and having a little class. We’re doomed, because Political Correctness has taken over……when are we gonna say “Enough’s enough”?…..and do something about it. Probably never because it wouldn’t be PC.

Tenacity

August 15th, 2011
5:13 pm

A Conservative Voice: I had a parent tell me when I started giving her $ for her daughter’s clothes then I could tell her how to dress. IT’S NOT THE SCHOOLS IT BEGINS AT H.O.M.E.

A Conservative Voice

August 15th, 2011
5:23 pm

@Tenacity

August 15th, 2011
5:13 pm
A Conservative Voice: I had a parent tell me when I started giving her $ for her daughter’s clothes then I could tell her how to dress. IT’S NOT THE SCHOOLS IT BEGINS AT H.O.M.E.

Yeah, if you’ll go back and read my post, I said that…..

Ashley

August 15th, 2011
5:29 pm

Are we going to make students who are punctual and prepare take these soft-skill classes? I hope not.

make it a standard; otherwise, no dice

August 15th, 2011
5:30 pm

casey et al: you simply do not understand public education as it currently exists. schools are loathe to mete out any real punishment for tardiness other than the occasional in-school suspension. suspension out of school is not an option anymore and even if it were the kids could probably make up missed work. the only punishment would be to lock doors to classrooms and not permit makeup work; do you think any administrator will stand up for a teacher who employs this strategy? nothing will change unless we make timeliness a standard in the curriculum.

Exteacher

August 15th, 2011
5:39 pm

If you are still teaching, I feel your pain. Bad habits and manners rule the day, and students are supported by parents in these sad practices. If I had time I would thrill and chill you with the amazing things that I experienced over 28 years in a classroom from parents and students who made their best attempts to disarm and derail my schedule and rule system. It happens in all SESs.

Ashley

August 15th, 2011
5:48 pm

New flash Clayton county parent pepper-spray at Sequoyah Middle-School for assaulting officer. ….sad state of affairs. WSB 2.com

Atlanta Native

August 15th, 2011
5:52 pm

Kids? Have you ever thrown a dinner party for adults? They show up when they feel like it.

Being late is saying “I do not value your time as you are of no value” to the others who show up. All of that “passe etiquette” that has been scorned for the past few decades was for a purpose, not to inconvenience people. Try putting RSVP on something and see if even 50% call. So kids watch their inconsiderate parents and learn.

Gina

August 15th, 2011
5:57 pm

“Softer skills”? Good manners is called that now?
Teachers didn’t have to worry about me, already had those skills.
My mom taught me to dress for interviews, and to be on time, I’ve done the same with my 2 sons.
Their teachers NEVER complained.
I agree with everyone on here, it’s the PARENTS job.
My 16 year old son’s high school has a TARDY room for those that are late. The school has that many students, the teachers just can’t deal with the ones who are tardy.

jaygee

August 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

Here’s what happens at high schools that allows for lack of behavior change regarding tardies. Last school I worked at, you were allowed 7 tardies to class before you got a consequence. New school, you get 6 tardies. The schools start increasing the tardy amount over the years as they find it harder and harder to find room/time for all the detentions or Saturday schools. I used to have nearly 120 kids in Saturday School each week, mainly due to tardies…and then they’d show up late to Saturday School. And guess you gets to pay the teacher for staying after school or on Saturday for the detentions…taxpayers. If parents laugh at tardies/consequences, kids will too…because tardies don’t hurt anyone, right? Maybe the kids who are tardy should help pay for the teacher who’s watching the detention.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

August 15th, 2011
6:05 pm

Ironically, I just finished reading an article on LifeInc about how employers are finding it more and more difficult to find workers who will arrive at the workplace ON TIME.

And downward we spiral.

Active in Cherokee

August 15th, 2011
6:20 pm

The technology is in place for “tardy machines” which some schools seem to be turning to. If the administrative is supportive and willing to spend the $$ (big IF) the teachers lock their doors at the tardy bell and students go to a central location to recieve a tardy pass generated by the machine. It tracks how many times the student has been late across all the classes and assigns the correct punishment according to the school’s handbook. It also can be connected to the school’s attendance system and automatically update the teacher’s attendance to ‘tardy-unexcused’. A system such as this is easy to monitor and aid both the administration and faculty in being consistent with punishment for tardies on top of having to deal with everything else.

Blondie

August 15th, 2011
6:33 pm

Seriously? Is everyone missing what’s happening here? Kids stay up all hours and then want to sleep in the next day. Parents need to enforce bedtime for their kids -even in high school. 10:30 is time to start unplugging from video games, TV, the internet, etc. and get ready for bed.

If your kid sleeps through alarms, get them the ones that vibrate and are obnoxiously loud (They sell them on Amazon -I ordered one for my boyfriend bc he turns off alarms in his sleep – the vibration knocks you out of deep sleep easily). And make it clear, if they’re late to school -the things they love (social life, internet, cell phone, tv, video games, etc.) will disappear until they get with the program. Amazing what motivation by deprivation will do.

long time educator

August 15th, 2011
6:44 pm

Blondie,
You are absolutely right; there would be no problem if parents would enforce bedtimes, buy alarms and provide consequences for non-compliance. The good parents are already doing some version of this. Theirs are not the problem students. The problem parents do not enforce bedtimes, buy alarms or provide any consequences for any infractions and are not heeding anyone’s advice on these matters. They don’t care enough to parent and their children are the losers. They are also the first to show up and complain if someone tries to discipline their children.

Ask this question

August 15th, 2011
7:23 pm

This is exactly the reason why America is last place in education. Schools should be responsible for two subjects, mathematics and English Language arts and maybe a foreign language. This is why our students are so dumb because it is the expectation that schools do everything, including a parent’s job. Fools, that are why I’m moving to the Caribbean, they seem to have the right idea. America is becoming a field of experts who no nothing

FBT

August 15th, 2011
7:49 pm

@Cere-Same thing happens with college group projects. I am starting to think group projects are for the benefit of the teacher and not the student. Fewer papers to grade, etc. Shame.

chuck

August 15th, 2011
8:01 pm

Great idea. Let’s give students a “certificate” for getting out of bed on time. Maybe we can give them a trophy for wiping their own you-know-what also. This is insane. Longtime educator, you are right. I get in trouble with my administrators sometimes for following through with what I told the students AHEAD OF TIME I would do. You put the policy in writing, have students and parents sign it and still they are SHOCKED when you actually give them the 0 or take points off when work is turned in late.

“ask this question” really!?!? The Caribbean has it figured out? I guess that’s why they still live in abject poverty in MOST of those countries. Please feel free to move. America ain’t perfect, but is is a far sight better than ANYWHERE this side of heaven.

chuck

August 15th, 2011
8:07 pm

BTW ask this. America is NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN “dead last in education”.

SallyB

August 15th, 2011
8:26 pm

@FBT..Group projects are and always have been a “cure du jour”. I refused to do participate in that band wagon and was never really admonished for it. Just could not in good conscience give grades on that basis. Never got reprimanded….Often got questioned…Never gave in…Now retired, Thank heavens.

Ask this question

August 15th, 2011
8:31 pm

chuck : A typical American answer. Everwhere is doing better than America right now. I will move to anywhere and do better than here. You folks has successfully destroy this land with your urge to be in everyone else buisness. The only folks moving in here is the Mexicans. United States of Mexico, soon.

Lee

August 15th, 2011
8:32 pm

“With some students graduating high school unable to read on grade level or perform basic math, critics argue that schools don’t have time to instruct students in workplace niceties…”

Well, there’s your problem.

Schools are graduating illiterates and the big problem of the day is sagging britches and alarm clocks? Give me a break.

Hummon

August 15th, 2011
8:57 pm

I’ve taught many years and do agree that tardiness (especially the persistent kind) is usually a sign of misplaced priorities. However, I’ll say in defense of students that with five-minute class changes, half-hour lunch periods, and no other breaks, high school kids often have a schedule so devoid of personal time that few adults would tolerate it.

Eboni

August 15th, 2011
8:59 pm

“…told the town hall audience that she locks the door to her classroom once she begins teaching to impress on students that they can’t waltz in late.”

Yeah I had a college prof years ago that did that too. And the door stayed locked, if you were 1 minute late you were SOL. It’s effective.

Emma

August 15th, 2011
9:08 pm

Of course we can “master an alarm clock.” Don’t stereotype all Millennials as lazy, shiftless good-for-nothings who can barely seem to wipe themselves without technological assistance. It’s insulting. (I’m slightly, only slightly older than the “target” of this article, at 22 and as a recently-minted college grad, but still.)

Honestly? The “soft skills” mentioned here were covered in the course of other classes in middle school, high school and by the career center at my college (which is outfitted with two mannequins in good business-style dress). It can also be reinforced by parents, although that of course comes with its own parental availability/readiness caveats that are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

Also, I didn’t grow up learning “oh well if you show up, you succeed, nothing else must be done.” Sure, you show up to school, but if you don’t do your work and stuff, you don’t get good grades, you don’t succeed. It’s as obvious as the nose on my face.

And hey, Melvin Everson, thanks for blaming us young people for the ominous threat that employers will look to other states or overseas for a workforce. THEY ALREADY ARE. THAT’S WHY THE UNEMPLOYMENT LEVEL IS SO HIGH HERE. It’s not to do with us; it’s to do with company highers-up deciding “we can save money and get better tax benefits, etc. by moving to South Carolina/Southern California/Singapore etc.” and the shaky economy and things that are out of our control. ONCE AGAIN, we are blamed for things we cannot control. TRUST ME, if I could snap my fingers and get a good-paying job with benefits that would allow me to move out of my mom’s house, I would. It is not that easy.

No wonder young people don’t read newspapers. When we do, all we get is this, this endless meme that we’re responsible for the world we’re inheriting.

NewMinority

August 15th, 2011
9:34 pm

“If industries can’t find that workforce in Georgia, Everson said, “They are going to look to North Carolina, Florida or Alabama. Or, even worse, they are going to look overseas.”

Well, it’s payback time.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

NewMinority

August 15th, 2011
9:36 pm

Oops. I forgot the reference: Galatians 6:7-8

NewMinority

August 15th, 2011
9:54 pm

@ Emma
Your comments are right on. In the ’60’s, our predominantly Christian culture with two-parent households, most with stay-at-home moms who cooked real food and taught their children manners and morals, was deliberately overthrown. Psychological manipulative techniques, perfected in the prisons of the former Communist Soviet Union and “Red” China, were used on the unwitting masses in the United States via music, film, television, and CFAT foundation directives in public education. Your generation was left to raise themselves in daycare, lottery pre-K, school, and technology. I feel you have been cheated and now are, financially speaking, inheriting the wind. The can that has been kicked since 1913 is now at the end of YOUR generation’s road. You are paying the price for the greed and excess of the generations since the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. TRUTH is the antidote for the lies this country has swallowed. Lord have mercy on us!