We tell our kids to go to school, K-12 (elementary school, middle school, and then high school), and then we tell them to graduate. Perfect. Right message.

We then tell our kids to continue on to college, graduating there, and attaining some degree in higher education. Perfect. Right message here too.

And then we tell our kids to then go find a job at either big business (or government).

You can almost name the name brand companies that we tell our kids will hire them after graduation. The only problem is, this just may be the wrong answer.

Fact: there are less than 1,000 companies in America that employ more than 10,000 people, and only 8% of all jobs comes from government.

Leaders digging in all the wrong holes.

Leaders have good intentions, but the fact is neither big business nor government are where most organic new job growth is coming from in the economy. We are simply digging in the wrong holes, to quote my friend Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup.

New jobs for our future.

As I detail in a prior LinkedIn Influencers post, in the U.S., jobs and job creation (mostly) comes from start-ups, shoot-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs, in enterprise years 3 through 7. And out of 26M to 27M registered business enterprises in the U.S., only 6M create one job or more, and only about 2M of them are what we might call job creation engines. And almost all of these 2M employ less than 1,000 people. There are only 18,000 businesses that employ between 1,000 and 10,000 people in America. Half of all jobs in America, are small businesses with 100 employees or less.

Re-connecting education with aspiration.

As I detail in How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class, we have failed to connect education with aspiration for young people. As a result, young people are dropping out of high school at a 30% to 70% rate in the United States alone.

Kids don’t want a lecture about grades or even graduation, no different than you do not go to bed dreaming about a 12%, subprime mortgage. You want to become a homeowner, and the mortgage simply facilitates this dream. You don’t dream about the car loan, you dream about the car. And it continues, a kid wants to (understandably) see a connection between their education and their life’s aspirations.

Kids either want ‘a good job,’ as my friend Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup outlines in his groundbreaking book THE COMING JOBS WAR, or they want a leg
itimate shot at economic opportunity in their lives.

The question is — does our educational experience connect them with these aspirations?Do we even know what they are?

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