Ohio Governor John Kasich made news last week with his surprise second-place finish in the New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary.
Primary season can be a circus, but it can also be a great time to see how political leaders around the country are thinking and talking about issues that affect our everyday lives. I’ve recently written about statements President Obama, Joe Biden, and Bill Clinton have made with regard to lifelong learning in the 21st century. This week I saw Governor Kasich on MSNBC speaking about similar themes.
Governor Kasich was asked about people who, later in their life, have lost their job. Kasich positioned his answer in an interesting way that I think separates him from some of his colleagues. Rather than making abstractions about job creation, he focused instead on skill development.
“We have to train [people] for the jobs that exist today, and the jobs that will exist tomorrow.”
Kasich added that once we’ve implemented a program to gather solid information on where demand in the job market lies, then, “We can get people driven to where their passions are, where they can get trained and get work.”
I would love to see this topic covered at one of the upcoming debates, especially because while I can appreciate Governor Kasich mentioning this during a national interview, I don’t believe his solution gets to the heart of the problem.
Does he only support industry-specific training, which might be relevant for today and tomorrow, or would he support critical thinking and information literacy skill development so that people can be empowered to continue learning throughout their careers? Would he or any of his fellow candidates support changes to education to better prepare the next generation of workers for careers in the knowledge economy?
The focus must be on preparing people with the skills needed to be able to anticipate and quickly respond to changes in their work situation. Given the increasing speed of change, it will be hard for industry alone to foresee and proactively retrain workers in order to minimize career disruption. Watch the full video below or skip to the 7:13 mark for the above quotes.
Have you seen any of the other candidates talking about this? If so please post to the comments or carry the conversation over to Twitter, where you’ll find me at @_Mike_Sweet.
Important note: The purpose of this blog series is to open up a discussion about important issues relating to education and business in the 21st century, not to endorse any particular candidate or their views. I write about the US Presidential election because it provides a long-running forum for many of the issues I’m passionate about, not because I intend to use this blog to support any candidate over another.