We need a workforce revolution to change the trajectory of our community, our future, our politics, and most importantly the way we handle our most precious capital – human capital. Saint Louis, like many other cities has had its share of systematic oppression, depression, and disenfranchisement on multiple levels. We need a workforce revolution to aggressively, intentionally and unapologetically address the issues of our communities before our existence as humans become obsolete. A workforce revolution is needed desperately. A workforce revolution will give hope to the hopeless and be the voice for the voiceless. A workforce revolution will allow communities which experience the greatest struggles to turn their struggles into upward steps of strength, their pain into pillars of power, the hurt will become community heroes, and the most unlikely to succeed will become their neighborhood’s most valuable player. The workforce revolution will create multiple pathways to prosperity for everyone.
I established a theory called the “Cyclical Dependency Theory,” which simply demonstrates the impact of similar characteristics that possibly transferred from generation-to-generation through a family or friend unit. Moreover, if a child’s parent is incarcerated or does not obtain a college degree, the child might be more likely to demonstrate behaviors that are not conducive to abiding by the law and not have an opportunity to attend college. A child is more likely to understand the importance of holding a job, going to college, getting into a skilled trade; if the caregiver, parent, or guardian is actively participating in a those types of activities. A workforce revolution will create a catalyst of aggressive, intentional, unapologetic, and impactful change using a two-generational approach.
The workforce revolution needs leaders who are unafraid to answer the cries of our community using techniques that have never been used before. The mindset of policymakers, leaders, and practitioners must be open to innovative service delivery techniques. A workforce revolution is going to require workforce partners to instill hope into the community and increase service accessibility. The workforce partners will have to collaborate with grassroots organizations, integrate depression awareness and suicide prevention inside of the workforce programs, be part of the solution for opioid addictions and substance abuse, and deal with social justice issues such as police brutality. Also, integrate other means of life-changing tools, such as financial literacy, home ownership, and aggressively make options available such as entrepreneurship, apprenticeships, and trades (not just college).
We need a workforce revolution to save our future. We need a workforce revolution to save our humanity.