Jobs and Stuff

A couple of weeks ago I spoke with Timothy Aeppel of the Wall Street Journal. He called me to get some comments about my participation in the YPO Global Pulse, a business survey of the 17,000 CEO members of YPO. The survey measures economic growth and business success by getting a perspective from a large group of CEO’s. Job growth is on everyone’s wish list right now, but slow sales growth, anemic margins, and high productivity are conspiring to thwart any reduction in unemployment rates. Aeppel wrote about the survey results and quoted me in his blog post.

People always ask me, “How is business?” Well, in 2010, it is a little better than 2009, but still a heck of a lot worse than 2008 and 2007. We are clawing our way back, but business will likely never be the same. Of course, it always changes, but 2009 was a major change. The fundamentals are different now. The search for skilled manufacturing labor is even more challenging. Customer pressure is extraordinary. Costs are rising again. Manufacturing companies, especially those in New England, who survive and thrive, will have to reinvent themselves again.

A lot has been written about middle skill jobs. These are jobs that require more skills than a high school diploma, but don’t require a college degree. Examples are machinists, quality assurance inspectors, computer technicians, welders, etc. We have more than 60 positions like this at Horst Engineering. These jobs are viewed as more secure than low wage jobs and easier to obtain than jobs requiring college credentials. This is where the greatest skill gap lies. Our economy needs a lot more people with better than average skills who are willing to make a strong contribution for fair wages. Higher education needs to reform itself. We are over-educating people in areas that have no practical relevance to the needs of many businesses. Arguably, academia is doing what it can to protect academia jobs and keep their own wages from shrinking. What a shame.

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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