Your Future Workforce

At the PHCC Educational Foundation Board of Directors Meeting in Spring 2012, board member Tom Applegate presented a very enlightening report on population trends that are affecting the p-h-c workforce. Staying on top of trends like these helps to guide the Foundation’s development of effective training programs that will meet the current and future needs of the industry’s workforce.

You can view the PowerPoint presentation here.  

Who Are the Workers of Tomorrow?

We essentially already know who tomorrow’s workers will be, just by looking at population demographics. In 2010, Census Bureau data showed the U.S. population as:
 - 75.1% White
 - 12.3% Black
 - 12.5% Races other than Black or White (primarily Hispanic) 

These numbers may not mean much on their own, but when charted over time, a pattern is easy to spot.

US Population by Race 

Fertility & Immigration
The fertility rates for the U.S. Hispanic/Mexican population segment has run at roughly 150% of the White and 130% of the Black fertility rates for over 25 years in the U.S. Combined with immigration, and it is clear that the fasting growing workforce segment in the U.S. is Hispanic/Mexican and that this trend will continue for the forseable future.

By being aware of these population trends, business owners can think about how they can position their company to attract the best talent from the current & future workforce pool.  

An Aging Workforce
At the same time, the U.S. workforce is aging. By 2040, over 25% of the population is expected to be over the age of 65 years. We are already starting to see a swift decline in the number of people in their prime working years (20-64) versus retirees (65 and over). As the percentage of the population available to work shrinks, businesses will all be competing for the same shrinking pool of younger workers. 

—Between 2010 and 2025, up to 95 million Baby Boomers will leave the U.S. workforce or change work focus.
—Only 40 million Gen X’ers and Y’ers will be available to replace them.

 Worker to Elder Ratio

Attracting Generation Y
Gen Y was born between the years 1980 to 1999, placing them between the ages 13-32. These are your future workers.

Key for business owners in our industry will be making their company more attractive to younger workers than the other career options they have. This will require knowing how Generation Y thinks and becoming the type of employer they want to work for.

• Gen Y is more relaxed, and has less formal attitudes toward work.

• Generation Y's respond to those who respect them. The title or status a person holds does not automatically demand respect from them - they must feel that a person is worthy of their respect to earn it.

• They don't fear authority and are practically immune to the "or else!" type of threat - they know they can quit and get a better boss somewhere else.

• If Generation Y's are treated correctly they...
  - will be valued workers 
  - have optimistic attitudes
  - will be hard workers, if interested in their work

• Generation Y's are also…
  - confident in themselves
  - flexible and open-minded
  - well educated, quick on their feet, creative and have the ability to multi-task

So what are you doing now to make sure you will be able to attract the very best workers of tomorrow?

Tom Applegate is the Executive Director of the National Council of Local Administrators of Career and Technical Education.  


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