America’s Greatest Challenge

In order to develop a sense of how the United States finds itself with a need to protect its position in the global economy, one must first confront and accept the challenge; we are being out performed in education by other countries. In fact, India produces more than 870,000 new IT graduates a year and produces more than a million engineering graduates a year, plus 16 million others with engineering diplomas. While the US struggles to turn out just 50,000 IT graduates a year. India also is leading the way in new areas of pharmaceuticals, biotech, electrical and mechanical engineering, with China also investing in education, and following this strategy the US economy is in danger of losing over billion jobs in the 21st century.

Since the end of the 20th century, the US has lost close to 5 million jobs to offshore skilled workers, which is killing and will continue to destroy good-paying American jobs, and increasing unemployment in software engineers, computer help staff, and mid-management positions to exploit the low wages of poor nations. U.S. workers suddenly face a grave new threat, with seventy-seven million U.S. baby boomers scheduled to leave the workforce over the next 10 years, even highly educated tech and service professionals having to compete against legions of hungry college grads in India, China, and the Philippines willing to work twice as hard for one-fifth the pay.

The simple fact is, global educational standards have passed America by, in country’s like India and China — which have a combined population of 2.3 billion people — will have an enormous educated workforce in the years to come, and more than 400 million students in K-12 education compared to the 53 million in the US. A variety of institutional, laws, and restriction may serve as a quick fix solution to keep America competitive, but not long-term sustainable. We must and have to invest in our educational system and we must start in our poor minority communities.

Were the most vulnerable citizenry to our nation’s future economical prosperity, and our ability to cut government wasteful spending, and increase our skilled labor force, are minorities, especially their children, where 28 percent of Hispanic and 33 percent of African-American child is currently living in poverty. These children live in neighborhoods where 40 percent of the residents are poor, with high rates of crime, young adult unemployment exists, and high school completion rates are below 50%. This is costing our country an estimated $250 billion dollars per year to provide local and state aid to these children, their families, and their communities. Without significant interventions to prevent and remove these multiple, accumulated obstacles, our nation will continue to deprive itself of millions of minorities and young people to help sustain our global economy’s growth, rather then drain it through our current infrastructure and policies.

The first step in that direction is to develop a strategy for addressing the question of how to create this new workforce nationally, which we achieved during a 12-year study to help define the problems afflicting our nation’s public high school graduation rate of “at risk” minority males, demonstrating what works in building partnerships between businesses, institutes of higher education, and community base groups towards closing the academic achievement and attainment gaps of minority male high school students in our nation’s educational system as they enter the workforce. As well as, present a multipurpose approach to stimulate growth within poor minority communities by showing how to greatly help reduce wasteful government spending and to focus more on preparing a higher-skilled workforce that will support a local, state, and national economy through this population’s stability.