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Closing America's Job Gap Hardcover – January 30, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wbusiness Books; 1st edition (January 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0832900001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0832900006
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Have you ever heard an alarm bell go off in a hotel? What did you do? You probably ignored it and assumed that in a matter of minutes the alarm would be turned off, the manager would apologize over the loudspeaker, and life would go on.
That s exactly what Garry Ridge, president and CEO of WD-40 Company, did a few years ago on a cold evening in London. But in his case the irritating alarm bell continued to sound, interfering with Garry s plan to relax that night and watch a British comedy in his room. What finally got Garry s attention was the security guard banging on the door and insisting that everyone evacuate. Not having time to dress warmly, Garry was directed down a flight of stairs and ushered to an open park near the hotel as it started to rain. He remained in the park for over an hour, cold and wet, as a bomb scare was checked out.
Knowing Garry as I do from coauthoring our book, Helping People Win at Work, I know he views everything as a learning opportunity and so do his tribe members at WD-40 Company. On his flight home to California a few days after the incident, Garry started to reflect on his trip and how stupid it had been to ignore the initial alarm bell. He quickly realized that alarm bells have a purpose especially if we choose to hear them and act on them.
Do you have any alarm bells going off in your life, either professionally or personally, that you are choosing to ignore or that the busyness of your life is drowning out? If so, you might want to think twice and take action before negative consequences sneak up on you and have a major impact on what you are doing.
Why did I spend so much time talking about alarm bells? Because this book, Closing America s Job Gap: How to Grow Companies and Land Good Jobs in the Age of Innovation, is all about a big alarm bell. While the economy is beginning to turn, the job market is lagging behind. In the past we have looked to large industrial companies for job creation, but today the real job opportunities are being created by smaller innovative entrepreneurial ventures. Yet today s workforce does not have the ready skills to fill these jobs. The concern is that policy makers in Washington, business leaders, and individuals trying to navigate this very difficult period of American history are not paying attention to the lack of alignment that exists between our innovation and business development sector and our workforce and talent development sector.
The authors Mary Walshok, a thought leader and subject matter expert on employability, career innovation, and the new innovation economy; Tapan Munroe, a recognized author, speaker, consultant, and advisor in economics; and Henry DeVries, a job and career expert suggest this is a fixable problem requiring a change in mindset among individual workers in terms of realizing what Peter Drucker told us years ago: All work is learning. It is fixable if employers will put a little more time and money into continuous learning in the workplace. It is fixable if the government reexamines its current workforce education and training strategies and reengineers them to fit the demands of the 21st century global economy. To do this, we have to stop falling asleep at the switch in America and take action in response to this alarm bell.
Thanks, Mary, Tapan, and Henry, for sounding the alarm. Let s hope that policy makers, business leaders, and individuals trying to survive in this tough economic time will listen. It s all about empowering our workforce. It cannot be done alone by any of these three groups together we must devote energy to solving this problem and closing America s job gap.
Ken Blanchard,
Coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Leading at a Higher Level --Ken Blanchard

About the Author

Mary Walshok, Ph.D. is an uthor, educator and job creation expert Mary L. Walshok, Ph.D. is the dean of University Extension and associate vice chancellor of public programs at the University of California San Diego. She is a thought leader and subject matter expert on employability, career reinvention and the new innovation economy.

Tapan Munroe, Ph.D. is a recognized author, speaker, consultant and advisor in economics. His expertise includes regional economics, environmental economics, and high-tech industry analysis. His current research and writings focus on the economics of innovation and economies of the Silicon Valley and Bay Area.

Henry DeVries is a job and career expert who speaks to thousands of business owners and executives each year, teaching them how to grow their business and advance their careers. As assistant dean he has helped the continuing education arm of University of California San Diego grow enrollments in certificate programs by 44% in three years. He is responsible for communications for 4,600 classes that annually attract 54,000 people interested in career advancement. In addition he is the Jobs and Career editor of the online news magazine San Diego News Network.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Let's hope the message gets out with this book.
Leslie Bruce
Even more, good jobs in all sectors need a labor force that is higher educated.
Phil Vice
It's a must read for business owners as well as job seekers.
EPatrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Authors Mary Wolshok, Tapan Munroe, and Henry DeVries have served up a bounty well beyond their original intent with "Closing America's Job Gap." The book is a gem and will serve not only as an alarm, as intended, but as a content-rich guide for many on multiple fronts related to innovation, jobs, and economic prosperity.

The book was initially written to "send the alarm to:
* employers,
* job-seekers,
* entrepreneurs and
* policy makers,
especially at the state and county level, to take a hard look at what is really shaping the labor market today" and outline a response to keep the American Dream of "good jobs for all" alive and well. But, purposely or inadvertently (I do not know which), the authors have served up a feast not an alarm for job-seekers, and for those trying to develop a regional innovation cluster (ecosystem), like my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame with its Innovation Park.

For job seekers, "Closing America's Job Gap" lists where innovation is happening, the good jobs needed by these sectors, and how individuals can prepare for the upcoming surge in new jobs. Innovation is happening in these sectors:
1. Health IT
2. Clinical trial design and management for oncology
3. Data mining
4. Embedded engineering
5. Feature writing on the web
6. Geriatric health care
7. Mobile Media
8. Occupational health and safety
9. Spanish/English Translation and Interpretation
10. Sustainable Business Practices and the Greening of all jobs
11. Teaching adult learners
12. Teaching English as a foreign language
13. Marine biodiversity and conservation
14. Health law
15. Welding
16.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Bruce on April 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I see it again and again; workers who've been out of college for a few years thinking they're through with education. The economic downturn taught them otherwise. They were among the first to be downsized out. To succeed is to grow. To grow is to learn. As Walshok and her co-authors skillfully point out, continuous learning is the key to continued relevance and value in the workplace. Let's hope the message gets out with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B Chavez on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The US is full of innovative minds and progressive businesses, but what the country really needs are employees that are qualified and capable of filling the positions that are currently needed and will be created in the short and long term future. Walshok, Munroe and DeVries ably lead the reader down a path to success in the 21st century business climate: embracing lifelong learning as more than a suggestion, as a necessity. Complete with the data to back the author's claims and real suggestions to move forward, Closing America's Job Gap is a must read for every US employer and employee that plans to be successful in the years ahead.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Abeyta on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There have been so many political views about how to get jobs back in America. Unfortunately, most of these opinions have been made by ill-qualified politicians who provide sound-bite prescriptions for job growth. Walshok, Monroe, and DeVries, who are experts in workforce development, finally shed insights into the problem and the direction our country should take in the years ahead. It is clear that life-long-learning is just one of the key messages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Stiehl on April 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have researched both job seekers and employers for decades. The employers basically want employees who show up every day, show up on time and are capable of learning the job. All too often, these simple facts are forgotten by placement people and job seekers. The authors of this book get the ideas precisely correct: you need to get training for the jobs that are open, over 3,000,000 of them!

This book contains an analysis of hundreds of studies, such as the ones my wife and I did for the Workforce Investment Act some 12 years ago. The analysis and recommendations are worth reading. This book contains a prescription for how to find employment: get properly trained. It is refreshing to find educators of such stature publish a learned study of such practical advice.

I highly recommend this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book sounds as if it is going to be extremely high-level, and in some ways it is. As you would expect from academic-type authors, "Closing America's Job Gap" is a really interesting book with charts and graphs and insights into the past, present and future of the job market, and the skills required for success, in what they call the "Age of Innovation." It offers clear recommendations about what industry (both small businesses and large), innovators, investors and educators must do to to keep America's economy moving and keep America's workers working.

But that's not all it is. It full of great, straightforward, practical advice across the spectrum. It is an invaluable guide for anyone who is, or thinks they might be a job seeker or career shifter anytime in the next few years, which is pretty much everyone. I am giving my copy to my nieces and nephews and friends' kids who are planning their lives and choosing their careers. It is my hope that the information in this book will help them find successful and fulfilling work, and have a mindset of innovation, flexibility and learning. This book gives not just the conceptual grounding for what must be done, but very, very specific advice about how job seekers can compete in the years ahead. It offers, for example, a section about what jobs are growing and what trends support their growth. The jobs listed are as specific as "welding" and "marine biodiversity and conservation."

It's rare to find a book that is such a great combination of hard analytics and practical advice - all of it hopeful. With luck, the audience will listen!
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