The 2010 Meltdown: Solving the Impending Jobs Crisis

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Overview

Ed Gordon marshals a vast amount of data to illustrate how various trends are converging to create a labor vacuum—with potentially disastrous consequences for economic competitiveness and individual opportunity. He sounds a wake-up call to business leaders, policymakers, educators, and concerned citizens, employees, and parents—anyone with a stake in our economic future. Moreover, he highlights innovative initiatives in training, education, and community development in the United States and around the world that can serve as models for positive action. Ultimately, The 2010 Meltdown is an optimistic book about social change, setting an agenda for reforms in education, policy, and business investment that will promote economic freedom, renewal, and prosperity.

It's the economy, stupid, is a refrain the United States will never live down, and not without reason. The relentless march of technological development and globalization continues to put pressure on all national economies, providing opportunity for some and marginalization for others. Around the world, nations will need to overcome twin economic shocks: a wave of baby boomers will retire and leave the workforce, while too few young, well-educated people will be available to fill a rising tide of high-skill, technology-related jobs. Ed Gordon marshals vast amounts of data to illustrate how these trends are quickly converging, creating a labor vacuum—with potentially disastrous consequences for economic competitiveness and individual opportunity. In the United States, for example, major studies agree that the majority of the jobs now being created require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the current workforce; meanwhile, a large pool of under-trained workers are seeing their jobs exported to developing countries, automated, or outsourced, while millions of high-paying jobs, in such fields as engineering, computing, and health care are going unfilled.

In The 2010 Meltdown, Gordon sounds a wake-up call to business leaders, policymakers, educators, and concerned citizens, employees, and parents—anyone with a stake in our economic future. Beyond the demographic issues, he notes that such cultural factors as Wall Street's obsession with short-term results (which favors cost-cutting over long-term training) and neglect of math and science skills at school are contributing to a fundamental mismatch between labor supply and demand. But the news is not all grim. Gordon highlights innovative initiatives in training, education, and community development in the United States and around the world that can serve as models for positive action, and he outlines a plan for reversing the destructive trends before we reach a crucial crossroad by the year 2010. Ultimately, The 2010 Meltdown is an optimistic book about social change, setting an agenda for reforms in education, policy, and business investment that will promote economic freedom, renewal, and prosperity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ed Gordon, a business author whose books are filled with examples, illustrations, and explanations that flow from extensive research, has done it again. In this thought-provoking book, Gordon lays out the critical situation employers will face - do face - in finding and holding employees who have the education and training to get the job done….You can open this book to practically any page and be instantly drawn into the story. Before I read the volume cover-to-cover, I flipped through the pages to just take a sneak peek at what was there. Reading just a paragraph or looking at organization wasn't enough. I wanted more. I was pulled in to keep reading. Gordon brings this issue to life. Recommended for business leaders, educators, human resource professionals, politicians, and enlightened citizens who are dedicated to making a difference for the generations that will follow us."

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Library Bookwatch/Reviewer's Bookwatch/Midwest Book Review

"Ed Gordon's latest book, The 2010 Meltdown, builds off his earlier success, Skill Wars, and makes a convincing case that organizations failing to be proactive to help create a skilled labor pool may very well face their own demise in the long term."

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The City Line

"The book made me THINK about how we as Canadians are preparing, or NOT preparing, for the inevitable. . . . It was one of the best books I have read lately to help explain why the War for Talent is imminent."

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Canadian Career Information Association

"You can benefit from reading The 2010 Meltdown….Gordon admonishes U.S. businesses for slashing their training budgets when times are tough. Executive development, sales training, advanced technical training and continuing professional education are still being offered, but only for 25% of the work force.Gordon challenges readers to change what he calls an antiquated American culture that divides most of the work force into two worlds: white-collar managers and professionals who are in the upper and middle classes, and blue-collar manual laborers who mostly remain in the lower class. Despite some of the bleak findings and comments, Gordon's book is hopeful. He calls for action to avoid a major meltdown in our work force and describes model programs involving partnerships between educators, employers and community organizations that pave the way for others who want to work for change."

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The Milwaukee Sentinel

"Gordon, business and education consultant, challenges policy makers to address the anticipated shortage of highly educated and technically trained workers, which he attributes in large part to technology growth, globalization, and baby-boomer retirements. He describes a cultural lag that has led to techno-peasants who drop out of high school, have outdated career skills, and seem destined for low-paying jobs, and a business environment that focuses too much on short-term profits, outsourcing, and importing temporary workers. To produce a more educated and technically skilled workforce, he recommends a cultural change in which parents are more involved in their children's education. He also discusses how community involvement in education can be enhanced with the development of NGOs that involve businesses in local community organizations such as chambers of commerce and service clubs to guide students to new careers. A wide variety of schools such as the Fargo Skills and Technology Training Center and corporations such as Hewlett-Packard have aided technical education. The book includes numerous examples of education programs and tables comparing American education to that of other countries. See also Gordon's Literacy in America (CH, Oct'03, 41-1049), coauthored with Elaine Gordon. The 2010 Meltdown is especially useful for business professionals, policy makers, and educators. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections."

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Choice

"Whether you work in a business, service sector, nonprofit organization, governmental agency or school setting, Gordon's book prompts critical thinking about where we are headed and what we need to be both discussing and taking action upon in order to prevent a 2010 meltdown of our workforce and our economy. . . . Read The 2010 Meltdown: Solving the Impending Jobs Crisis. . . to gather ideas for solving the impending crisis in filling jobs of all kinds."

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Idaho Press - Tribune

"In this thought-provoking book, Gordon lays out the critical situation employers will face—do face—in finding and holding employees who have the education and training to get the job done. . . . Recommended for business leaders, educators, human resource professionals, politicians, and enlightened citizens who are dedicated to making a difference for the generations that will follow us."

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Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275984366
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

EDWARD E. GORDON is president of Imperial Consulting Corporation in Chicago and Palm Desert, California. He is an internationally recognized expert on the future of labor market development and many education reform issues, applying a broad multidisciplinary approach to today's complex business and socioeconomic problems. During his over thirty years of consulting experience, he has assisted a wide variety of clients-- from Fortune 500 corporations to universities, school systems, and trade/professional organizations--and has taught at DePaul, Loyola, and Northwestern Universities in the Chicago area. He is the author of sixteen books, including FutureWork (Praeger, 1994), Skill Wars (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000), and Literacy in America (Praeger, 2002), and has been quoted in or written over 200 articles in newspapers, popular magazines, business publications, and education journals.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: People, Jobs, and Culture

America's Meltdown

The 2010 Crossroad

The Rise of the Techno-Peasants

Feeding the Sharks

Where Has the Schoolhouse Gone?

Help Wanted in America and the World

Structuring Renewal

Signposts at the Workforce Crossroad

The "Sixth Discipline"

Beyond the 2010 Crossroad

End Notes

Index

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