The Pledge is simple:
On every task for every 11 people, I will employ a twelfth drawn from student or newly credentialed workforce.
Of course, these people should be expected to work and they will. They will be expected to be screened and they will. Their training should be appropriate to the task and it will. Candidate training, however, need not be confined strictly to a certain discipline but rather a demonstration of a work ethic and focus appropriate to the task.
In todays’ market of tight budgets, newbies have no way to enter the job market. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that labor participation rate for 18 years and older is still falling to 58.5%. Companies only want experience workers. They are afraid to train new workers only to lose them after one or two years. As a result, the newly credentialed have no effective way to get the “experience” they need to progress.
Enter the Twelfth Man Pledge. The pledge indicates a desire to give students and newbies the “experience” their resume so often lacks. Employers get a look at new and prospective talent at work. As Ken Harbord says, “everybody wins.”
Employers lack an effective means to tell the workforce how to prepare for todays’ working world. A recent report by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) describes a growing disconnect has evolved between employer needs and the volume and nature of college training of students, and that the growth of supply of college-educated labor is exceeding the growth in the demand for such labor in the labor market.[i] The study notes that, “comparing average college and high-school earnings is highly misleading as a guide for vocational success, given high college-dropout rates and the fact that overproduction of college graduates lowers recent graduate earnings relative to those graduating earlier…about 48 percent of employed U.S. college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests requires less than a four-year college education.”
The result is not the same in some technical schools. Employers and workforce experts say that skilled trade jobs are going begging, reports the Austin American-Statesman , because too few applicants are qualified for jobs that require special skills but not a four-year college education. Quoting Mike Reeser, chancellor of the Texas State Technical College System, “the technical schools are finding jobs for almost 90 percent of their graduates from the two-year programs.”[ii]