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Preparing 21st Century Workers

October 7, 2016 3 minute Read by William McKenzie
This series of commentaries and analyses, which come from leaders and experts in the Bush Center’s Domestic Excellence Center, shows how workers as well as communities can become more prepared for the transitions that await them.

The one-and-done-career is over. Americans are no longer wed to a single company, organization, or even career. They will apply their skills and talents in several jobs and careers during their lifetimes. 

What's more, many will work in a world of marketplaces, not just in the American marketplace. Globalism already is an economic reality, but it will become more of one as the world becomes even more connected through technologies. 

Some will recoil and blame others for these changes, or seek to retreat into the past and within America's borders. None of those responses is feasible. The best response is to be ready for tomorrow’s realities. 

The Economy is Going to Keep Changing, So We Need to Adjust Our Skills
Holly Kuzmich, the Bush Institute’s executive director, explores the generational shift in the workplace, where the one-and-done concept is ending. She explains why we must better prepare workers for a fast-moving economy. 

School Achievement Can Drive Economic Growth
Sandy Kress, a Bush Institute education fellow, draws upon research to show how important a solid K-12 foundation is for students and the economy. Educational achievement directly impacts economic growth and the gross domestic product. 

Helping Workers in Cities Make Transitions
Benjamin Rand, a member of the Bush Institute’s North America Working Group and associate vice chancellor of Tarrant County College, explains how community colleges help workers and communities make transitions.

The Military as a Training Ground for the Future Economy
Jeff Cleland, the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative's manager, draws upon the example of three Marines to show how the military trains not only service members, but future civilian workers.


Author

William McKenzie
William McKenzie

William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.

Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.

Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.

Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.

McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.

Full Bio