A Real Conversation about Jobs
Ross Baird recent tweetstorm brings up serious points about what should be considered in moving the US job market forward
We all know the internet can be a place that showcases the best and unfortunately the worst of humanity. But instead of promoting the insensitivity, slander, and open letter outrages, I’ve decided to share posts, articles, podcasts, tweetstorms and images that I found to promote the best of what the internet can be.
2016 has been a really interesting year — which is the understatement of the year. After a contentious presidential election which has revealed to many that there fellow Americans are not happy about the current path the country is going in. It revealed that many of our disagreements have been the results of an ever-changing global economy. With the divide between the haves and have-nots seeming to increase every second, it’s forced me to think what is the responsibility of innovators, creatives, educators and even aspiring venture capitalists like myself.
I believe that the success of our country’s economy historically has been driven by entrepreneurship — both big and small. We need to continue and promote this throughout the country so that we reinvigorate economic development in more than three US cities. As a co-founder of MERIT, we were inspired to create a marketplace that helped students from mid-sized cities connect with their ideal mentor — based on data. Our assumption was that, at the time, there were only about 6 MSAs that obtained a majority of the “intellectual” capital in the country. We had built a platform that accepted the idea of brain drain as reality. The collective reluctance to challenge this norm havs created the new concepts of red vs blue states, coastal regions vs fly over states (dislike that term because I’m from Arkansas), and cities vs rural areas.
For the next couple of years, I want to think creatively of how I can have (even a small) impact on changing the current have vs have-not narrative of our country. I’m not even sure what that looks like but it could be mentoring more entrepreneurs in various markets or it could be finding talent that is willing to join high growth startups that are not in your typical hubs. Whatever the initiative is, it needs to be one that is collaborative and helps address new problems/preferences driven by technology.
We need to have an honest conversation that includes industry leaders, government officials, and educational institutions because globalization is not just the problem anymore — automatization is too. What opportunities will be around for individuals as better machine learning tools are released for the industrial sector and autonomous cars are on the street.
Yesterday I came across a thoughtful tweetstorm in which Ross Baird of Village Capital brings up the need to challenge past hollow economic policy. Check it out and think about how you in your profession can help create small solutions to address our country’s pressing job creation problem.
Earnest Sweat is an Entrepreneurial Engineer for Camelback Ventures and an Investor in Residence for Backstage Capital. If you have any questions or requests please connect with Earnest through LinkedIn or Twitter.
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