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Selling workers on specific careers essential

During his visit to Fergus Falls, Gov. Mark Dayton talked about the need for colleges and universities to match curriculum with the needs of businesses. He pointed out that many jobs go unfilled for a long time because of a lack of skilled employees.

Such facts are certainly true. It also isn't a new phenomenon. Business owners and managers have long struggled to find employees for certain types of jobs requiring specific skills. The difference is that, in economic booms, it is expected that employees would be hard to find. During recessionary times, a lack of qualified employees seems to defy logic.

Part of the problem is likely that colleges and universities have been slow to adapt. When technology and the economy changes so rapidly, it is easy to understand why.

But the other problem is likely that employees have difficulty recognizing careers that offer opportunity. The first step might be in working with business owners to understand the skills they need and then be prepared to teach them.

But the second step is to convince students to pursue a certain type of career.

It's all well and good that, in the United States, we can choose the career of our choice. But we also have to recognize that, to get the economy moving and the unemployed back to work, we have to educate -- and sell -- many unemployed workers to pursue a career in a field where jobs are available. -- Fergus Falls Daily Journal