Topic Category: Labor

I just gave the keynote address at a conference for high school administrators and teachers of career academies and vocational schools on Long Island, New York. It’s one I particularly enjoyed because I have been an enthusiastic advocate for technical and career schools for many years as they quickly and affordably prepare students for careers that command a living wage.

Topic: Labor
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October 30, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It removed the atrocious racial barriers in immigration law but also restricted economic migration — especially from the Western Hemisphere. We continue to struggle with its mixed legacy, particularly now that a spotlight is shining on our dysfunctional immigration system.

Topic: Labor
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In June 2015, employers added 223,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent — the lowest rate since April 2008. In July, employers added another 215,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate stayed at 5.3 percent. Why would adding about the same number of jobs lower the unemployment in June but not in July? The primary reason: 432,000 people dropped out of the labor force in June and a much smaller number in July.

Topic: Labor
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The recent Republican presidential debates marked the first serious start to the election cycle. Immigration dominated the first debate with each candidate scrambling to condemn illegal immigration more than the other. The bland bromides of support for “securing the border” and more immigration enforcement are out of date in 2015. The changing facts of immigration and our dynamic economy require an update.

Topic: Labor
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Congress won’t pass immigration reform this year, but they will face a vote to reauthorize E-Verify, a government electronic enforcement program forced on some employers to screen new hires. E-Verify’s goal is to “[turn] off the jobs magnet that attracts so many illegal immigrants to the United States,” as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) states. Smith is one of the program’s biggest supporters in Congress, trying to portray the program as “free, quick and easy to use.”

Topic: Labor
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On April 1, the U.S. government began to accept applications for the skilled H-1B guest-worker visa. H-1Bs are employer-sponsored visas that run for three years and can be renewed once. In recent years, applications for the H-1B have been filled in a few days as there are only 85,000 available for employment in private companies. H-1B workers help enrich the U.S., but there are problems with the visa.

Topic: Labor
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This nation was founded by entrepreneurs who knew that with some sweat equity and risk taking, they could share in the American Dream. But for today's young entrepreneurs, that dream has become a nightmare. High taxes, onerous regulations and diminished access to capital has seen entrepreneurs stand on the sidelines waiting for a business environment that welcomes and rewards their participation. They are still waiting.

Topic: Labor
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The United States led the world in expanding access to high school; then in post World War II, access to college. And today, due to the nature of American universities and the openness in which they operate, the United States continues to lead the world in post-secondary education. In fact, 35 American universities rank in the world’s top 50.(1) But can American colleges and universities adjust to quickly changing trends and circumstances?

Topic: Labor
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I came across a fascinating article in The Wall Street Journal recently that reported that due to Germany's aggressive promotion of vocational schools and skills training, the German unemployment rate for young people is below 8 percent. Contrast that to a new report that one in four Americans aged 24 to 54 aren't working. That's an unemployment rate of 25 percent. For our teenagers it is even much higher.

Topic: Labor
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Like most growing economies, the United States relies on a steady flow of well educated workers. In fact, without this, the U.S. never would have become an innovative powerhouse. Today, the newest technologies on the scene, including cloud storage and faster computing, apps, hydraulic fracturing, 3D printing, energy storage, and nano technology, require more knowledgeable and highly skilled employees to develop, refine and operate them. But where are these workers?

Topic: Labor
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