Workforce 2000, Silver Bullet or Dud


Workforce 2000 (Johnston and Packer, 1987) a widely circulated study supported by the U.S. Department of Labor, was greeted with vastly different responses. Most Americans. Especially in the business community, bemoaned the substantial "skills mismatch" predicted by this study. By contrast, the black and Hispanic communities greeted the report with enthusiasm because the report suggested that America could no longer afford 10 waste its human resources.

According to the report, thirty percent of the new jobs created by the year 2000 will require workers with a four year college degree. Further, blacks, Hispanics, and other "non-traditional” workers will represent eighty-five percent of the new workforce. Thus, the tragic human waste represented by growing mortality, joblessness, incarceration and drug abuse among young black males is a threat to not only the black community but also to American economic competitiveness. These conclusions seemed to provide the "silver bullet" needed to support renewed investments in the health, education, and training of black youth (Schorr, 1988; William T. Grant Foundation. 1988).


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