Sunday, August 20, 2006


Jobs go begging in Peoria, evidently. Today’s JS has 8 1/4 pages of employers looking for employees. The employer’s problem is that too many applicants aren’t qualified. Many can not read well enough to be hired, fail drug tests, have court records, have no resumes that back up their self-esteem, (or maybe they never really earned much self-esteem), little math skills and too much of their computer skills are limited to playing games. Or, some of the possible applicants may feel that the starting pay is too low and the work, too hard.

Many schools across the country are using innovative techniques to help students develop needed skills by convincing kids that mastering required job skills will help them get and hold a job that will pay at least livable wages. It opens opportunities to be working and enjoying their work at the same time. In Peoria Public School District #150, I’m told that counselors guide the kids onto paths where they may have the best chance to succeed. But today’s kids often have so many personal problems that counselors don’t have the time to do what they where originally intended to do.: Guide and encourage kids to pay attention in the classroom, master the basics of reading, writing, basic arithmetic and math and computer skills. Counselors must have the time to help kids of every age and background understand they must learns the basics schools offer. Otherwise, how can they help kids select courses that can eventually lead to career’s in which they are most likely to succeed. Counselors should be advising kids that they can only expect to be hired if they have proper attitudes, basic skills and the work ethics required for the job being offered.

This school season is opening with more enthusiasm than I’ve noticed in some other years. Northmoor, as an example of the many good schools that we have in #150, has an open house and lunch for both parents and teachers Monday and I’m invited to attend. All teachers are excited about teaching these kids in this great learning atmosphere created by themselves, staff, concerned parents, interested community leaders, School Board Member Mary Spangler and Principal Nicole Wood.

As kids get older, problems become more prevalent and many kids get lost in the school system and in the community. But, by getting off to a good start in the lower grades usually determines their success in middle schools and high schools. With a well rounded high school education and a work ethic, kids are equipped to become assets to communities no matter what type of a home background they come from.

The community offers many other programs that help kids, especially those who have faltered along the way, assistance to get their GED, Workforce Development, I.C.C., Bradley and private industry programs. We have strong social networks guiding kids to make correct decisions about where they are heading before too many mistakes are made. We need even more preventive programs to slow the clogging of our welfare systems, our juvenile court systems, county jails and prisons.

More vocational training guidance at an age earlier than high school is an absolute and #150 has failed in the past to provide more kids the opportunity to succeed even if they never set foot in a college. With recent new leadership, I believe beneficial opportunities in vocational training in District #150 public school system will benefit employers and allow our local young people to become fully employed and become contributing good citizens.

Please scroll my archives where I have written dozens of blogs on our school systems.

I ask that reader’s post additional information on my blog site about our school systems and the employer’s increasing hiring dilemmas.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post! Well, to start off I think I agree that there are many jobs available in the Peoria area...these are mainly middle range (still poverty level positions) that are hiring. And the positions seem to fall at $19,000 to around $34,000 annually. Essentially your a customer service representative or in sales and on the other spectrum you are an engineer or advertising. Many higher qualified and educated people are moving elsewhere. There is just a more competitive market at ranges $34,000 and up, somewhere else where there are more options and benefits. And this is what holds Peoria's identity; middle of the road jobs for a middle of the road town. Great site! empeoria

Anonymous said...

What is your take on universities and their athletic programs? Employers and universities accross the nation are seeing a decrees in people entering technical majors like engineering and computer science, yet athletic programs continue to expand. It seems to me that athletics increasingly is focused on fundraising for athletics so that they can expand athletics to promote for fundraising. In the meantime non-athletic departments in many universities continue to face funding shortages. What sort of role modeling do these universities generate when athletics becomes such a high profile endeavor. Athletics isn't generating more engineers. In fact people in athletics are not likely to ever be engineers.

Closer to home, Bradley U. is spending $100 million to update and expand its Athletic department. Who exactly is this benefiting? Does it not do more harm than good?

Something to ponder.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. If the illegal immigrants are taking all of the low paying jobs and we are outsourcing the hi tech jobs what's the point of sending our children and grand children to college when there are going to be no jobs for them to acquire?

Been there done that.