Roman Devengenzo was consulting for a robotics company in Silicon Valley last fall when he asked a newly minted mechanical engineer to design a small aluminum part that could be fabricated on a lathe—a skill normally mastered in the first or second year of college.
“How do I do that?” asked the young man.
So Devengenzo, an engineer who has built technology for NASA and Google, and who charges consulting clients a minimum of $300 an hour, spent the next three hours teaching Lathework 101. “You learn by doing,” he said. “These kids in school during the pandemic, all they’ve done is work on computers.”
The knock-on effect of years of remote learning during the pandemic is gumming up workplaces around the country. It is one reason professional service jobs are going unfilled and goods aren’t making it to market. It also helps explain why national productivity has fallen for the past five quarters, the longest contraction since at least 1948, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
The shortcomings run the gamut from general knowledge, including how to make change at a register, to soft skills such as working with others. Employers are spending more time and resources searching for candidates and often lowering expectations when they hire. Then they are spending millions to fix new employees’ lack of basic skills.
Talent First, a business-led workforce-development organization in Grand Rapids, Mich., is encouraging employers to stop trying to hire based on skill. Instead, hiring managers should look for a willingness to learn, said President Kevin Stotts.
“Employers are saying, ‘We’re just trying to find some people who could fog the mirror,’ ” Stotts said.
Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004–
“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.
When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?