Workforce development is one of those six syllable, mumbo jumbo-laden claptrap terms that prompts eyes to glaze over when people read or hear it.
De-constructing it, however, proves infinitely more fun than constructing it, which must have been dulling for the committee that came up with it. What follows is one way to practice such de-constructiveness.
“Work:” opposite of play, unless you love yours and are paid adequately for it. Then work is play. “Force”, as in Star Wars: May the force be with you. (Go for it, Luke Skywalker). “Develop:” Grow or cause to grow; mature. That’s actually the definition. No kidding. “Ment:” Misspelling of meant, a word related to meaning, which is what gets lost when anyone invokes the hoo-ha term workforce development (yours truly included).
What’s clear, however, is whatever you call striving to obtain skills to get a good job — or helping others take such steps — it provides an underpinning for economic development (another mish mash term of epic proportions). In short, we need it whatever you call it. I’m reminded of the rock ‘n’ roll mantra I heard for six minutes, or maybe it was six months, on the radio when I was growing up. It went:
“get a job, Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na.”
I’m also reminded of the great quote, now almost lost in the antiquity of my youth, attributed to Fats Domino, singer and piano player from the same rock-dominated era.
“A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.A., or Ph.D,” funny Fats said in 1966. “Unfortunately, they don’t have a J.O.B.”
Still true today.
All of the above is by way of embarking on a short but heartfelt push in these precincts for praising yet chiding those in Northern Nevada, or wherever it applies for that matter, about pushing to enhance training so people can get jobs. I’m talking about jobs that do or make something tangible for society. Nothing wrong with a Ph.D, but nothing wrong with tech-savvy training either.
Western Nevada College, Carson High School and others this week are highlighting that effort, one which keys on training people for manufacturing jobs. This Monday through Friday, Oct. 3, marks Manufacturing Days. WNC and Dream It, Do It Nevada have partnered with business and industry and area school districts, so the group can push manufacturing careers along with training for them. It’s about jobs. Such jobs require training just as it took training for Fats Domino to tickle the ivories or Isaac Stern to fiddle around with his violin.
Whether you learn to make music or widgets, it makes dollars and sense for you and yours. And whether you call it workforce development or job training, it’s what this region needs. Tesla Motors’ choice of this area for a major battery factory is a wakeup call. Train for tomorrow should become a siren call for young people. Get ‘em ready to get a J.O.B.
It’s job one.
John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.