With millions of people unemployed due to COVID-19 and a new generation emerging, what is the vision for the next 10 years and who will provide the skills training for future builders?
This new year, 2021, will pose a great challenge to millions of Black and Brown youths and adults who are seeking job skills and employment while many companies are having difficulties retaining skilled workers or providing training for current employees during this pandemic. The manufacturing industry, well before COVID-19, in the United States was experiencing, what has
been called, a “skills gap” dilemma, meaning the industry lacked qualified applicants or talent,
capable of properly, and safely, performing the required tasks for the job. This global pandemic
now affecting every economy has forced all industries to rethink the way in which they conduct
business and training.
Knowing that the global impact of a failing economy will disproportionately affect Black and
Brown people, there are several urgent questions facing us: what is the vision for our next 10
years, who will provide the skills training for future builders, and when can we start? Our children
and grandchildren can not, and should not, have to wait until they mature to address this concern
themselves. Our elders who endured horrific circumstances and overwhelming challenges has
now passed the torch to us and we must do right by them and provide knowledge the future can
use to sustain their families and communities. We must build.
Our training should lead to more than well-paying jobs. We must train with the intentions of
creating entrepreneurs and businesses that incorporate the new technology to produce products and services that benefit a new generation on the way. This pandemic, as tragic and painful as it
is, is allowing us to look at ourselves and our future. We don’t know how long it will last but if
we seek training now, whether online or through self-study, we may be better prepared to
embrace the next challenges after it's all over.
Here are 5 steps for new skills training in this pandemic.
Identify Your Current Skill Sets
The first thing we must do is figure out what we are good at and what we need improvement
on. We must study ourselves and determine where it is that we want to go, or what field would we like to enter. To start, on a blank sheet of paper write down the ten skills you currently have and the ten skills you want. For example, if you have knowledge of Microsoft Excel or Office,
write it down. If you want to learn Autodesk CAD, or Inventor, write that down also. If you know how to drive a forklift write that down, or if you need more training with forklifts write that down. Now organize them by the time in which it will take to complete by short term and long term. Lastly, number your list 1 through 10 with (1) one being easily obtainable in one month, or less, and 10 (ten) being obtainable within five years. This will give you an outline of where you need to start.