AT&T is unable to recruit enough customer support and technical support workers to reverse much of the outsourcing it has gone to to staff its customer support centers.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – The head of the top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Wednesday it was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from India.
AT&T successfully filled 1,400 out of the 5,000 jobs it had targeted to bring back to the US from India. CEO Randall Stephenson explains why the company hasn’t been able to do more (my bolding).
Stephenson said he is especially distressed that in some U.S. communities and among certain groups, the high school dropout rate is as high as 50 percent.
“If I had a business that half the product we turned out was defective or you couldn’t put into the marketplace, I would shut that business down,” he said.
This was the point I was coming to. High schools are failing the only customers they attempt to serve. Almost no public High School does a good job educating high achievers. Universities and colleges have long complained about the dreadful qualities of character and scholarship that incoming freshmen display. With the pernicious expansion of the ADA, disruptive and mentally ill students who cannot be expelled take priority over all other students in school, causing classes to move so slowly that no meaningful curriculum can ever be completed. If students could learn to read aloud at a 12th grade level, master algebra and geometry at a minimum, and read a certain amount of the classic works of our inherited American culture, then they would be able to thrive at a reasonably challenging entry-level job such as providing technical support for a call center. If they had developed some reasonable facsimile of a work ethic, they would be able to thrive and advance. But they can’t. Government intervention at all levels, governmental monopoly public school districts optimized to spend tax revenues and monopolist teachers’ unions optimized for the comfort of tenured teachers are the better part of the problem.
AT&T isn’t the only company with such a problem. The IT division of the company I work for did a study a little over a year ago that projected that in the next 15 years the number of sufficiently trained American workers required to work the currently existing information technology jobs will suffer greatly from the retirement of baby boomers. If I recall correctly, within fifteen years in America there will be 85,000 fewer graduates trained in the required technical skills every year than there will be jobs opening up from retiring workers. High Schools need to step up to the plate. They are not getting any hits. They are striking out. High School isn’t hardball, where a .350 batting average is good. A 90 or 95 percent success rate among those students who don’t leave school to join an apprenticeship is the minimum acceptable success rate.
We need to get together and say to the public schools, “You’re fired!” Then follow through.
Anything would be better than continuing with the same failed system we are living with now.
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