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article imageOp-Ed: Do America's youth lack work skills?

By Corey Miller     May 4, 2012 in Lifestyle
The question should be, why don't America's youth have the skills that are needed to compete in an ever changing job market?
The question has many possible answers. Yes. America's youth are under-educated and ill-prepared. But in some ways by no fault of their own, America's youth have become fat on excess and distracted by variety. Spoiled rotten with a super-sized sense of entitlement.Many of them don't feel that they should earn, but they are owed. They are the little monsters that we have created. We often hear stories on how citizens from other countries come to America and take the very first job that they can find. Be it McDonald's, Baby Sitting, Lawn Care, etc. They do whatever needs to be done. Their prime motive is to be successful in America. They are driven and they don't have that built in sense of " I'm too good to do that, " or entitlement that many Americans, let Alone our youth have.
Maybe that is our curse. We have been so spoiled with opportunity in years past, that in some instances we simply think that we can wait until something better comes along. Adding to that the ever changing digital, social and electronic advances, make it hard to keep up. It's like running a race and the finish line keeps getting farther and farther away. Education is always a key to success and finding yourself and a good career, but America's youth have fallen so far behind youth in other countries in the fields of technology, math and science that companies may begin to recruit outside of America for new young talent. Our youth will continue to need proper training to keep up with children around the world.
A mediocre public education system that does not have enough quality schools or teachers to prepare our youth for the future. At least not on the same levels of some countries in Asia and other places, where a quality education is the rule (at all cost) and not the exception. America's youth are indeed behind the 8-ball in our public school system. But our educational system alone can't prepare them in a way that make them marketable.
In the city of Chicago, youth are offered various programs and opportunities through the city's " After School Matters, " program. A program in which the city, in partnership with the corporate community offers year round or summer training and employment to many teen and young adults. The programs can range from anything from fine arts and media. To acting and finance to name a few. The program is both hugely popular and successful with both the cities youth and the city as a whole. Preparing the cities youth for the future in a way that is talent or skill specific. But our youth, like many of us are big dreamers.
And why not? Let's not forget that we live in the land of big dreams. Where it has been proven time and time again that anyone, anywhere can become anything. Look at the whole reality TV boom.Most of those people on those shows were everyday ordinary people up until their lives began to be plastered all over televisions across the country. And yes, our youth are paying attention. The easy road is a popular but risky route. We've made celebrities out of people that have zero talent. Many American youth dream of obtaining some degree of celebrity status. They dream of becoming the next big star or athlete. Really? Who wouldn't? But that's not reality. America's youth are simply the product of what our society allows them to believe. If they see that they don't have to obtain the skills to work. They won't. So yes, America's youth may indeed lack the skills that they need to enter today's work force. But they alone, are not the reason.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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