Training Your Workers…..

July 9, 2013

skilledST. 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.

Source:  Minn. companies are “building” new workers from scratch – CBS News.

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.

6 responses to Training Your Workers…..

  1. 

    I love reading stories like this. Just think how many people could be trained and employed if only the overpaid CEOs would relinquish some of their astronomical profits and do something for the greater good. We don’t need to use cheap foreign labor when we have so many out of work right here at home. Let’s get back to caring about our employees more than over-enriching the few.
    Often there are strings attached to the employer-paid tuition …like agreeing to stay with the company for one year or something like that. I don’t think that would be a hardship…people would happily give their loyalty to a company with a heart. Don’t you think? And happy employees do better work and make better products.
    I am proud to say that Minnesota has had a number of these stories…usually involving smaller businesses. Now we need to spread this practice to the big guys!

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  2. 

    Hospitals do this all the time. I know a number of “kids” who have started as a CNA and moved through to RN on hospital funds. It creates a loyal and family atmosphere. What a concept!
    Big business is going to have to figure this out. It is better to start and train then continually turn over workers….

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  3. 

    Well said both of you. I remember when I started at AT&T in 1970 there was a lot of pride and loyalty within the troops but then the 80s came and that went out the window. I blame it on the upper management; too many MBAs looking only at this year’s profits.

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  4. 

    Great post! What is the name of the company in St. Paul that is doing this?

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