60 Minutes Explores a Platform to Employment

Tonight 60 Minutes featured a new program called Platform to Employment, which has been put together by Joe Carbone.  The 60 Minutes segment zeroed in on revealing the terrible truths that people who are in the 99 – week plus group of unemployment face, including:

Discrimination– Frequently they can’t apply for a job if they are not already employed

Isolation– Singled out from their professional peers, they often face tremendous isolation from their former associates

Hopelessness – Encountering repeated rejection is an absolute erosion of their self-confidence, resulting in an uncertainty about their future that is paralyzing

Lack of emotional support– This is a silent epidemic where people lack safe places to discuss the impact on marriages, finances, and psychological and physical health

No legitimate professional re-entry options– Often, survival jobs are the only options as corporations are typically not committed to this issue and feature few transitional employment options, if any

Ostracized- The chronic unemployed are shunned by friends and over time stop asking for help, which is critical to forward movement and networking

There were several aspects to this segment that underscored the desperate call for national action.  What I appreciated the most were the 28 people who offered their stories as examples of the impact of chronic unemployment.  The stories where heart breaking as so many were from established industries where they had multiple certifications, strong educations and great work histories.  Looking into their eyes, you could see the desperation, anger, frustration, sadness and despair that is all too often glossed over by job clubs and social resources that require them to put aside these burning emotions even to participate in any type of social activity designed to support them.  This is exactly the type of media coverage that we need far more of in order to drive home the nature of this crisis.  I personally believe if people simply knew how to help others, they would step up as it is the character of our country to innovate and contribute if we know where the front lines of a crisis are happening.  The problem?  These people are voiceless, facing poverty and foreclosures, and they are not organized into any type of centralized groups capable of a strong and succinct call to action.

The elements of 60 Minutes and the Platform for Employment that caught my eye and validate what I’ve tested through work on my book, The Economy of One: CODE for Free Agents, is that to compete in today’s job market requires a complete shift of mindset.  People must think of themselves as empowered, connected and capable of driving demand for what they can uniquely supply in an economy of one.  They need to think like entrepreneurs, whether they are ready to commit to being one or not.  They need to access support and resources designed to help them engage with what I refer to as a hyper networked economy – where increasingly it’s not what you know, but strategic access to who you know that makes or breaks your chances to meaningful employment.  We are living in a place of transition where the role of social currency in getting a job is critical and too many people have no idea what social currency is, little the less how to access it for strategic employment purposes.

I was encouraged that as a platform to employment and to re-establish confidence the program was zeroing in on an intern to work option which very closely parallels a program I’ve been very active in, the InturnXchange here in Kansas City.  It’s high time that our decision makers, our business leaders and civic minded people step up to address this national crisis in terms that connect our most precious national resource with companies (and small business in specific) that desperately need the intellectual capital of those in transition, even for short term assignment work.

Businesses should be encouraged to (especially) engage in informational interviews, offer internship opportunities and outreach for the people who in staggering numbers are falling through our social safety nets.  We have to do more as the back bone of stability in America, the middle class, are systematically being required to adapt at a rate not seen ever before to stay relevant.

You can watch the video of the broadcast here:

Bravo to 60 Minutes for calling out this critical issue, bravo to Mr. Joe Carbone for his heartfelt and passionate pursuit of a noble cause that must get more attention, and bravo most of all to the 28 people who volunteered to be interviewed for the program sharing their deeply personal and moving stories.  Each one of them is an Economy of One, each one is our most important asset America – they are the educated, the failing middle class, the hard working people who trusted that the companies and communities would be there for them when hard times hit.  We must step up our efforts to bring innovation, courage and dedicated support to those fighting at the front lines of chronic unemployment.  Here’s to 60 Minutes for the courage to give precious media time to highlight the need to mobilize resources, tackle road blocks and begin the process of innovating our way into new ideas and mindsets required to effectively deal with the problem, putting our 99 week plus unemployed back to work.

Share this page with your connections!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 60 Minutes Explores a Platform to Employment

  1. Steven Smith says:

    I am glad to see the problem of “long term unemployment” finally being addressed through news media. The 60 minutes looked at some real issues that have confronted people who have become unemployed for a long time.

    Many years ago, I applied for a civil service job opening of which I had the skills and experience to perform the job competently (acquired from the private sector), but I was turned down as the State favored someone with the same skills and experience, but who was already employed, they were just looking for a change.

    Well I was looking for a change too (not in jobs), but a change of status of becoming employed again.

    For the past several decades, those who have jobs get hired, and those who don’t have jobs, don’t get hired. If we are to expect the private sector of employment to help put the unemployed back to work, without bribing them subsidies, the the public sector needs to set an example. That means when someone who is unemployed applies for a civil service job that the are qualified for, that the are not discriminated against by that government entity in favor of hiring someone who already has a job.

  2. Daryl Cloud says:

    This segment on 60 minutes was more than informative, it was inspiring. The folks that shared their stories will not have any idea how helpful it was to see them go from one mindset of defeat to the next one of victory. We have all experienced unemployment at some point but the climate it exists in now is one like no one has seen since the depression. The transitions we all have to make will not be easy but this segment showed it can be done with the proper type of support and encouragement.

  3. patti brady says:

    This was one of the best discussions on this issue ever; more are needed. Heartfelt thank you’s to Joe Carbone and the participants! Mr. Carbone’s program deserves to be nation-wide. Too few of the “unaffected” get the issues of prolonged unemployment and its damage not only to individuals but to their families and to the vitality of their very own community! People who get laid off deserve opportunities for “free” retraining – new skill building. Coming from HR, I support creating a tax-funded program of retooling and retraining! Fund it by adding taxes to those who send the majority of their jobs overseas (17,000 here – 200,000 elsewhere). Reward employers who grow their domestic employment numbers and bring our re-trained formerly unemployed into their marketplace.

  4. Kim Walker says:

    Bravo! to Joe Carbone and his team. I agree that it’s advantageous for the media to highlight this issue. But, I’d also like to point out that there is a current government funded training initiative for the “un” and “under” employed in the USA. In fact, the Obama administration approved extra funding for the program in recent years. The Department of Labor program is called Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Check it out at the following url: http://www.doleta.gov/programs/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Answer the problem to prevent spam :) *