The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 14, 2013

Local jobs require education


Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Recent remarks from the public at one of Danville’s ward meetings included the assertion the city needs more jobs. No one will argue with that. Every community wants more jobs for its residents as a way to grow. But the perception is that Danville has few job openings, and that’s not true.

On Wednesday, Danville Area Community College will serve as host an annual job fair. More than 65 businesses and schools will send representatives to look for recruits and applicants.

Job fair organizers advise those who plan to attend to dress for interviews and bring multiple copies of their resumes.

That doesn’t sound like advice for a community with few job openings.

The difference is that today’s jobs are far different than those of even a few decades ago. The days of picking up a high school diploma — or even leaving early — and walking into a decent factory job that will last for the next 40 years are long gone.

Today’s jobs require specific skills, with training often necessary after high school.

Workers must be able to read and understand instructions on their own and make decisions.

Today’s good-paying jobs require workers who can complete complex tasks without constant supervision.

And today’s job applicants must be able to pass the drug screens so many companies use.

Education holds the key to today’s best jobs. The ability to read well, with comprehension, has never been more critical. Math skills also play a big role in many jobs.

DACC offers a path to learning many of those necessary skills, filling a vital role in the community.

Those who don’t believe there are many jobs in the area should stop by Wednesday’s job fair in DACC’s Mary Miller gym. Chances are good the reality of the local job market will change their minds.