The fraction of technical workers in America stopped increasing in 2000, and actually decreased until 2006 when it seemed to flatten out. Now that fraction has started going down again. All during this time foreign-born scientists and engineers have been making up more and more of this meager workforce, working in professions that our Johnnies and Susies are rejecting in ever greater numbers.
For readers wondering what all the fuss is about, we recall that it isn’t the talents or efforts of our lawyers, MBAs, or even assembly line workers that invite the world to beat a path to Market America to buy our goods or services. It is ever more the technology savvy worker that is at the head of the food chain that generates wealth and keeps the country from sinking faster than it already is. And the fraction of those troops is going down. (More in the 17feb12 WSJ from where the graphic is filched.)
Here in the US of A there are still some of us who keep wiggling mightily to attract more young people into the technical trades and professions. In this effort we persevere into the teeth of an educational gale that is tuned to turning out graduates most suited for becoming government employees – workers who need ever higher taxes to keep them satisfied.
Locally, an effort in this direction is TechTest, a merit scholarship exam from SESF (www.sesfoundation.org) that is now in its sixth year. TechTest2012 will be given on 14 April 2012. Next Friday (24feb12) SESF, a 501c3 organization, launches TechForum2012, a luncheon and speaker series for raising scholarship monies for what have come to be known as the TechTest ‘survivors’ (highest scorers). TechForum is a value-added conclave for Nevada County’s business, government, and institutional leaders that features world-class speakers talking about current and coming technologies that are relevant to our region. Next Friday’s guest speaker is Mr Rick Hutley, Cisco’s VP for Innovation. TechForum is also open to the interested general public that wants to get informed, and support our young people headed for technology based careers.