Nail :: Head :: *BANG!*

for a change

Today, we can see the consequences of this disconnect in any number of areas, but none is more obvious than the growing skills gap. Even as unemployment remains sky high, a whole category of vital occupations has fallen out of favor, and companies struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. The causes seem clear. We have embraced a ridiculously narrow view of education. Any kind of training or study that does not come with a four-year degree is now deemed “alternative.” Many viable careers once aspired to are now seen as “vocational consolation prizes,” and many of the jobs this current administration has tried to “create” over the last four years are the same jobs that parents and teachers actively discourage kids from pursuing. (I always thought there something ill-fated about the promise of three million “shovel ready jobs” made to a society that no longer encourages people to pick up a shovel.)

–Mike Rowe

Results :: *BANG!*


  1. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    R&R are smart! They told this guy to come on over and help!!

    {…On a sad note, however, Scarlett Johansan, who I worshipped specifically for *TWO reasons*, has turned out to be “Two nipples attached to a Manure Spreader!” May Earth`s gravity sag them downward until she has to tuck them inside her belt…} =8^(

  2. apotheosis
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    Y’know, I’m pretty adamantly in favor of women. Huge fan. Love the vahoohoo.

    But if ever I was to consider joining the other team…Mike Rowe is pretty damn awesome.

    Just sayin’.

  3. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    Col J, I didn’t know of whom you spoke until I looked her up.
    I want to give you solace in your disappointment:
    In my mechanical engineer’s opinion, without wearing an engineered support apparatus, her two assets already sag nearly to her belt, and by middle age, after a couple kids, she will blowse up and need surgery or a battery powered scooter with a boob basket to get around.

  4. DougM (November is coming)
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

    Mike Rowe for Secretary of Labor Labor!

  5. geezerette
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |

    Two nipples attached to a manure spread—:)))))

  6. kinlaw
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    Mike Rowe: yup, got a man crush on him.

  7. joe
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    Nothing against Rowe but I think he might have gotten into some corporate Kool Aid. Corporations are as guilty as academia for foisting this over emphasis on college educations. Too many loyal employees, good people with years of experience, were pushed aside in favor of hot shot college grads beginning in the late seventies. Men who had been making air conditioning units for decades suddenly weren’t as qualified to over see their production as college grads with any dipshit degree they could grab. Computer programmers who had been in the business since the 1401 autocoder days were passed over for ‘analyst’ titles in favor recent grads. Hell, dairy farms wanted you to have at least a general agricultural degree to milk their freaking cows.

    And the big lie that hundred of thousands of jobs go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers gains momentum every day. Employers are in the position where they can demand such a specific skill set that the only way to qualify for a position is to already be in that position. Companies no longer want to train welders, fabricators, electrical techs, machinists, maintenance techs and a hundred more positions that any average 10th grader should be able to learn in six months. They want the government to spend millions training potential applicants so they can pick and choose the top three or four graduates. Government is complicit in this since it creates jobs for bureaucrats at a faster rate than for the graduates.

    The average government subsidized technical school is a farce and exists mostly to enable a protected species to receive government aid. States agree to train workers for new businesses because that’s what it takes to get the business to locate in the state. Taxpayers get to pay for Cletus to learn how to put a tire on a Camry and Toyota gets a tax credit for hiring Cletus but old Cletus already knew how to put tires on everything from motorcycles to farm tractors.

    Businesses are not without blame for this situation and their hidden agenda is to outsource or secure even more visas for workers who will work for less. You can’t run fast enough to convince me that there are more than a few thousand positions open because the skill set is so difficult to acquire. Mike Rowe couldn’t get his foot in the door at 90% of the places he goes to if not for his TV program.

  8. Jess
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

    “…Companies no longer want to train welders, fabricators, electrical techs, machinists, maintenance techs and a hundred more positions that any average 10th grader should be able to learn in six months…”

    I can tell you’re not any of these, since the skills required to do any require a minimum of a decade to understand the materials, correct procedures, potential hazards and the realization you’re working with thousands of dollars worth of materials and errors can not only bankrupt a company, the substandard work can literally kill thousands.

    Next time you put a gun barrel to your head, spend a few minutes understanding the material requirements for the pressure of the explosion; the tolerances required to insure the firing pin strikes the primer in the correct position and doesn’t become lodged in the casing; and correct rifling to guarantee the projectile has the right spin and leaves the barrel with the greatest accuracy.

    As bizarre as it may seem to you, most companies don’t give a rat’s ass about government money, except what is stolen at tax time.

  9. mech
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

    Most excellent. i remember a post here some time ago when he started his organization. Seems he is making progress .

    I would enjoy talking with him over an adult beverage or two and a good steak dinner. Certainly he would have some good stories and wisdom to share.

  10. accipiter NW
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

    “Next time you put a gun barrel to your head” ???

    I understand and appreciate the first part of your comment. Could do without the type of talk that the Left loves to accuse us of.

  11. JoeBandMember&@174;
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm |

    In WA the unions and the Commiecrats work hand in hand to make it tougher for young people to get into any of the trades.

    I sat on an electrical advisory committee for two seasons and nothing in WA becomes state code without the blessings of the unions. My common sense and technically sound suggestions were shouted down by clenched fisted, red faced union asses who wanted the unions to be the only apprenticeship path.

    When my generation finally retires there isn’t going to be anyone left in the trades.

  12. JoeBandMember®
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm |

    Hi, boss lady. I f***ed up my html again.

  13. mojo
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm |

    “A strong back is a terrible thing to waste.”

  14. Joe
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 6:42 am |

    8). Nope, never done any of those things for a living but I worked for a company that built construction cranes and one that built printers and had to become pretty familiar with both the production and quality assurance of the products. And it does not take decades to learn these things. And even if it did take decades to learn them, who can spend decades in a classroom?

    The military can train a halfway intelligent recruit to perform any number of specialized technical tasks in a relatively short period and has been doing so for years. Corporations once did the same thing but years ago started treating people as disposable. It became cheaper to rely on a permanent ‘temporary’ workforce.

  15. RDRTrash
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    As an “under-qualified” worker, I have felt the cold-shoulder of HR gatekeepers who simply ’round-file’ applicants that don’t have “papers” (college degree).

    I am an IT professional, now, and have served at a rather high capacity in that field for many years (to and through the dot-com bust), but my road into this field was a windy and back-alley route to be sure.

    I have worked jobs like Mike Rowe films, to make money, and pay bills. 3 jobs for a time with a cumulative 6 hours of possible ‘off’ time to sleep except on Sundays, which is pretty unsustainable BTW. I have had to borrow and repay friends and family when I couldn’t make it work. I have had to ‘midnight move’ more than once in my life and sleep on couches because I didn’t have means for better… And I can point to this ‘no degree’ policy as a chief reason.

    To suggest that a BS of Human Resources (does that degree exist) can somehow know and understand the valuable traits and skills required for any number of a hundred job positions, and then filter out the ‘chaff’ of respondents with a check-mark qualifier of “no papers” (no degree), is just silly. However, I have been victim of these Gatekeeper-Toolz my whole working life.

    The “college degree” requirement is nothing less than an artificial way for lazy managers and HR managers to limit the ‘work’ of the hiring process. It’s ingrained in corporate philosophy now, but I hate with a burning rage, the fact that it has become ‘common practice’. “No Papers, no job!”

    Possible fixes for this:
    Tutor/Mentor relationships are a possibility (that’s basically what Mike Rowe does and films), and Trade schools are options for workers.
    For employers, one possible solution might be to actually look at applicants that don’t have degrees, and thus gain access to a wider pool of possible workers.

    Capability is not measured with a ‘degree’ (IMO); A degree is mostly a measure of a certain type of persistance and a willingness to think “inside the box” (IMO, not meant to offend anyone here, my experience-skewed opinions are obvious).

    Some of the best thinkers and employees I’ve known languish on the other side of the checkmark-box. Maybe they (we) don’t have the same spit-and-polish as someone who suffers through four years of “higher” education, but they’re (we’re) the ones that those who have “papers” turn to when they don’t know which hand to hold it with.

  16. Buzz
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

    RDRTrash, you’re spot on.

    Excepting technical specialties, most college degrees aren’t an indicator of capability. I’m most disgusted when a non-degreed, experienced worker has to train his degreed future boss.

    An Aeronautical Engineering grad raised on the blue collar values of bloody knuckles, calloused palms, sweaty brows, and dirty boots.