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Still Want To Clone Joe?

First written in 2012. I’ve added commentary in red in 2022.

For a number of years, I was Program Manager of a federally funded workforce and economic development initiative that benefited the nine (9) Finger Lakes counties. I had the opportunity to interact with business owners, business leaders, educators, innovators, economic development agencies, and political leaders at a variety of levels.

Business leaders bemoaned a lack of qualified workers to pick from. Educators asked what businesses needed. Political representatives wanted to fund and support “sure winner programs”. The business community had difficulty articulating what the future skill needs would be. Educators were faced with the dilemma that technical information was doubling every 2 years and beginning with 2010, was predicted to double every 72 hrs. (Which meant that half of what a technical degree student learned in their first two years could be outdated by their junior year.) In frustration business leaders have been heard to utter: “What I’d like to do is just clone Joe.” Fact is, it took 277 attempts to clone Dolly the sheep. How many Joe’s did you say you need?

The challenges for employers with “workforce” issues is not going to go away. (Have new issues come onto the scene in your business world?) Employers MUST find ways to deal with the new reality:

  • The fastest-growing age group for using the internet is …… 2-5 yr old's (they will be digital-friendly like we cannot fathom). (Still true, I believe.)

  • For those workers entering the workforce in the last decade, on average, they will have 10-14 jobs by the time they are 38. (Where is your company on their resume? )Their workplace behaviors will be influenced by this exceptional rate of movement (Job change.), with shaped behaviors (by their prior employers) that the next employers must be ready to reinforce or reshape.

  • Back in 2005 data showed, that 41% of the companies around the world were having trouble hiring the people they need. You have not been alone. (Just change “were having” to “are having”.)

  • The Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did no exist in 2004. That reality is not going to change. IKR

  • Payroll is shown on a balance sheet as a Cost or expense item, while equipment is considered an asset. What does that mean to you? (Impression vs reality.)

Businesses, Supervisors and Managers can no longer afford generational intolerance or lack of flexibility toward gender issues. And, with four (4), possibly five (5) generations present in a worker population, an open-mindedness to varied work styles will be beneficial.

Tighten the seat belts. Good Luck with that Cloning Joe. (How many did you say?)

And, guess what. Dolly the Sheep was named after Dolly Parton.


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