1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Skilled worker shortage?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Stitch, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    This WSJ article describes Union Pacific's difficulty in finding skilled workers.


    My problem is Union Pacific is lazy in its recruiting efforts. Why rely on job fairs and "hiring events" where the candidates are treated as a number? Spend a little to get one-on-one time outside of an office. And don't charge applicants to take an aptitude test, which is insulting to a qualified applicant.

  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I've said this before, but I think by and large, a big problem is the lack of respect given to blue-collar workers.

    Nobody grows up wanting to be a welder anymore because if you're working with your hands, you're often treated like you're a moron.

    I've told this story before that my brother-in-law, who is a welder, makes three times as much as I was making at a newspaper. Yet, at family functions, people always ask me about my job and give me a higher level of respect even though his job allows him to provide for a family of four and mine barely got me by.
  3. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    When I was in high school and college, I worked at my father's tool-and-die shop and, by and large, was a Class A machinist when I graduated from college. When I got sick of sports journalism a few years later, I went back to work there and very shortly thereafter was making almost twice what I had been as a sportswriter. The big hurdle I had to cross was getting past the idea that somehow I had "fallen" in professional stature.
  4. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Railroad management whining about business conditions? You could've knocked me over with a locomotive.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    This took me a while to get used to.

    I was used to wearing a suit and tie to work, now I wear dirty jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

    I don't go to happy hour downtown, as it would be over by the time I could get home, and get cleaned up.

    And, I don't meet as many professional women, and was intimidated by them when I did. I was the same person, but I figured they wouldn't be interested in a "blue collar" guy.

    It really took me a while to become comfortable in my new role.

    But, I got there. It's good honest work, and I do well. I try to have my employees do more of the grunt work now, so i can focus on sales and growing the business, but I still turn wrench several times a week.

    If you've got kids, I would strongly encourage you to have them learn a trade/skill. It doesn't mean they can't pursue a more "professional" career, but it's always god to have.

    You can usually find work, you can do jobs on the side, and/or you can eventually do your own repairs around the house or fix your car. That's a huge plus.
  6. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    With the benefit of hindsight I would have learned a trade right out of high school, most likely Electrical or HVAC. Growing up there was a stigma to the technical vocation kids who would "have" to work with their hands.

    The appeal of it now, from owning my own business or just doing jobs on the side as well as the portability is something that I will stress to my own children.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Wow, large corporations such as Union Pacific lead the charge to squeeze down taxes and demand enormous breaks that end up taking skin and bone out of the education system, which either has to cut like mad, raise taxes like mad, or (in the case of colleges and trade schools) raise tuition like crazy to keep up, thus, in many cases, cutting educational opportunities for those without means.

    And then they complain that the labor pool isn't any good.

    I have an idea, large corporations. Either pony up tax money for a strong education system for all, or (and/or) pony up dough for an apprentice program. If you want educated workers, you actually have to invest in education, you know.
  8. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    Someone at Union Pacific should be kicked in the groin for making applicants fund their own aptitude tests.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've always been told that if a company makes you pay for anything in your training, it's a sign that the company is a scam. That is something from the "college students selling steak knives" files.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I heard this interview with the CEO of CSX when it originally aired on NPR.

    These are good paying jobs.

  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    You have to pay to apply to college.

    You usually have to pay for the credit check they're going to run on you when you apply for an apartment.

    I wouldn't necessarily pay to take a test for some company I never heard of, but for a legitimate company, like Union Pacific, I wouldn't object.

    Sure, it's a barrier to entry. That's the point. They don't want to be flooded with 1,000s of unqualified applicants. The $25 fee makes people self select, it covers the cost of the job search, and it should make for a better job search.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    We spend a lot more money on education than we used to when more and more people went into the trades.

    But, it's become a kind of fetish to get more people to go to college.

    Especially in bigger school systems, it would be easy to allocate some funds to vocational training. It's not a question of more dollars, it's how you spend them.

    So, now we have high school -- and even college -- grads with no appreciable job skills. And, since fewer and fewer kids work after school and summer jobs, they have no actual work experience.

    So, we spend government funds on training an "re-training" adults. It's ridiculous.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page