If you look at the statistics, the people who are collectively the leaders of the largest corporations in the country are not the country’s most prolific job creators. In fact, the major corporations are in level or reduced employment mode. The real job creators are the innovators and entrepreneurs whose growing small companies turn into major employers. We have to stop talking about jobs programs and job creators. There is something in these terms that implies there is a small, existing, elite group of people who serve as the job creators while everyone else prepares for and competes to work for these people and their jobs. That is a deeply flawed view of what makes the American economy great. America is great because everyone has the potential to be a job creator. What we need are schools that create new generations of job creators, not just workers.
Students must be taught how to get a job, and they also need to be taught how to start a company. A school's career program should include a unit that has students work in small teams to take an idea and build a business around it. Students should work together to solve multidisciplinary problems. This model of learning ensures they master the traditional academic content, but it also does much more than that. As a result of their team problem-solving approach, the students learn a broad assortment of high-performance skills such as leadership, researching, communications, teamwork, analysis, validation, responsibility, reliability, innovation, planning, etc. This kind of program gives students the confidence and skills to create their own jobs or companies – and potentially jobs for others, as well. Every student coming out of America’s schools must feel like he or she is a job creator, not just a worker.
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