Letter to Nevada legislators regarding job creation through work skill retraining

Subj: US Labor supluses,retraining and re employment

Jan 13,2014

Senator Harry Reid (D NV)

Senator Dean Heller (R NV)

Rep Joe Heck (R NV)

Rep Steven Hordsford (D NV)

Subject:US labor surplus,reinvention of skills and re employment:

Dear Senators and Congressman.,

We are in dire need of a turnaround in Nevada’s employment.

I request that you read the following information and recommendation.

In an economy where for years now there has been a focus on “job creation”–to the point where the term is now a buzz word,it is time to wake up and recognize the “elephant in the room”. Job openings that currently exist due to a lack of skilled qualified job seekers.

After reading the figures below, kindly realize that “saving jobs” is not “job creation”. Adding workers to the work force by gainful employment should be our real focus.

Continuing unemployment benefits does not add to employment. It merely continues unemployment at a lower government subsidized income at tax payer expense,or by adding to our staggering debt of more than $17 Trillion The point is we must define the real objective at hand and it is to increase the number of gainfully employed people in the economy. Government must therefore focus on the right objective if any improvement is to be made.

By the way speaking about the debt, your share of the national debt just increased to over $ 54,000. Every man,woman and child would have to fork over over $54,000 to pay off the debt. If you live in a family of four your tab is $ 216,000.!! Think about it. Don’t we need to take a different approach to the economy?

The most recent labor force numbers for December 2013 show that a whopping 92 million working age Americans are not even in the work force. In Dec 2013 alone the number grew by 535,000. So even though the unemployment rate dipped from 7% to 6.7%, that “improvement” is overwhelmed by the actual labor force math,in which the “labor participation rate dropped to 62.8%,its lowest level since 1978.

So the question is “what if you threw another job stimulus party and nobody showed up? Or maybe we could do what China’s government has done with their excess labor resources ( but China has more money). To employ their surplus labor China has literally built cities in the interior of the country,and even hung up “Starbucks” and” McDonalds” signs in storefronts in these cities,but the cities remain empty. So sure,we could go on a another spending binge but a 17 Trillion dollar debt seems to be saying “we need to be paying this off instead of spending more”–and where will that more come from anyway?

There is a partial out.. But it will take recognizing that there is a significant structural work force skills mismatch resting over our heads today. There are actual labor shortages in key industries today. And the reason for these shortages? A llack of skilled and qualified people.

In April of last year Darrell West at Brookings published his report titled ” The Paradox of Worker Shortages at a Time of High Unemployment”.The report was revealing. West pointed out that the Bureau of Labor found there were 3.5 million jobs available. West points out for example that there were 227,000 open manufacturing jobs in 2010 at the height of the great recession. Why? America’s skill set was unable to fill these jobs. West also points to labor shortages today in agriculture, health care (across the board), advanced manufacturing ,and technology. A copy of this report is arttached.

Other reports indicate that 73% of construction firms report they are unable to find qualified skilled craftsmen for their projects .These shortages are having an impact on the industry’s ability to compete with international firms both here and abroad.

Proposal: Based on these facts, a more common sense approach to relieving the unemployment crisis in America appears to be not another stimulus ,but rather cooperative joint re-training and education programs to help reinvent the skills and qualifications of the labor force. Why should not the federal government take the lead in assessing where these shortages exist,then along with the industries involved and the states where there shortages primarily take place, create and fund these retraining programs. Attending these re-training programs should be a pre condition for receiving continued unemployment benefits.

If we want to rebuild highways,refurbish bridges,etc look at self funding mechanisms like toll roads to recoup the investment and reduce the debt load on America. But before we build or rebuild these roads and bridges, skilled labor which is now in undersupply,must be available. No more building or rebuilding of bridges with Chinese construction companies I hope as was done in the major refurbishment of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 2011. Never mind that the municipal owners of the bridge,indicated they saved hundreds of millions of dollars by using the Shanghai company to do the work. And Chinese firms are also active in NY City renovating the subway systems. What’s wrong with this picture I wonder?

Re employment of the unemployed is good business and good politics for everyone.That’s why I believe that a bi-partisan approach to the creation of the legislation required to institute this retraining program makes good sense.

Accordingly,I request that as Nevada legislators you review this recommendation and decide among yourselves if this is a desirable piece of legislation to co sponsor,or sponsor on you own if that is more desirable.

Bob Jack
3916 Marsh Sparrow Lane
North Las Vegas,NV 89084
702 355 2303

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