Friday, August 31, 2012

Your Association's Real Competition

No more teachers
No more books
No more teachers dirty looks
School's out for summer
School's out for ever.....Alice Cooper

I loved Rick Rutherford's post yesterday - One Giant Leap.  I find it so inspiring to talk with someone else who is passionate about the good associations can do, particularly when it comes to our core competencies - education and workforce development. (and thanks Rick for the shout out....right back at you....)

Oddly enough, I ran across this blog post just this morning on Huffington Post referencing the same issues - To Fix the Skills Gap - Get Local.  Yes, right now there are 4 million job openings in the United States with nobody to fill them. This blog post discusses a new program called the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.  There is your real competition - groups who are swiping your bread and butter right off your own dinner table.  This is about solving real world problems for workers in crisis.  The health of your members businesses rely on a skilled workforce - and we don't have one.

Engaging quickly on developing educational programs that are deeper, more effective, with more reach and more diversified delivery systems should be your absolute, primo, numero uno job.  Our members are disappearing because entire sectors of the economy are disappearing.  Better marketing messages aren't falling on deaf ears, they are falling on non-existent ears.

It is time for us to reassert our position in this arena. All the time we spend building better mousetraps won't help us if we run out of mice to trap.  I don't care if we use a strategic plan, a to-do list or a freaking dartboard.  We have to work faster and harder on issues that really matter. No, we are not facing our own extinction but we do need to meet these challenges head on and do what we do best - help people prepare for and find good jobs.

Here is a dynamite clip of Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show back when children's programming was still totally awesome!  :D


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