ST. PAUL, Minn. – We previously reported that one thing holding back the economic recovery is there just aren’t enough skilled workers. But some companies have decided if they can’t find qualified employees, they’ll just create them — as we found out in St. Paul, Minnesota….
Tuition is $4,000, but the coalition provides scholarships. Later this month, the first class will graduate 18 students. How does that compare to building a successful business? “It’s bigger,” said Guarino. “It’s bigger. It’s more important.” For companies needing highly-skilled workers, it is a way to do good while ensuring they do well.
In my day it was common practice to bring in fresh recruits and train them for the job you needed filled. I don’t know when that fell out of favor but it is nice to see it coming back at least in a small degree. Sometimes all we need to be successful is a little help. I have proudly proclaimed more than once on this blog that I worked my way through college. I worked up to forty or more hours per week along with taking almost a full course load. It was tiring but I was young and didn’t quite realize that. I probably averaged four hours sleep or less most nights. But, given the cost of most college educations today I’m not sure what I did is even possible anymore.
Getting back to the point of this post, sometimes all we need is a little help along the way. A little boost here, some encouraging words there, or maybe a few bucks to bring it all together. I am a firm believer that the best moral values in this country belong to us Midwesterners. We seem to have more empathy and less narcissism than most other regions of the country. We don’t, for the most part, strut around telling everyone how great we are. Instead we just put our nose to the wheel to make things happen. It is nice to see that this program of helping develop skilled workers is from a Minnesota company.
Sometimes it is necessary to look back in order to figure out how to go forward. This maybe is one of those times. If you can’t go out in the market to get the necessary skilled workers you just create them yourself. I know there will be those who are afraid that once they put all the effort to make a skilled worker that they might end up going somewhere else, even a competitor. But my Midwestern values say that many will be loyal to those who helped them get where they are. Loyalty is another of those “old-fashioned” values that disappeared during the Reagan years but who says it can’t be resurrected again if some company or group takes the first step of valuing its workforce.