STEM Jobs Are Filling Slowly

Go Lean Commentary

Here comes more “pull pressure” on the Caribbean work force.

According to the foregoing article, there is a greater demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workers in the United States. According to US Government immigration policies, employers can search outside the borders to find job applicants to fill roles that are hard to place. This constitutes additional demand for individuals in the Caribbean work force with this skill-set to avail themselves of opportunities in the US. This article depicted here, constitutes an additional “pull” factor:

By: Justin Kim
Money Economics – Finance e-Zine (Posted 07/01/2014; Retrieved 07/11/2014 from:

CU Blog - STEM Jobs Are Filling Slowly - Photo 1According to a new study by Brookings Institution, there is a clear evidence of a skills gap in the US. The report stated that a high school graduate with a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) background seems to be in higher demand than a person with an undergraduate degree not in a STEM background. The study looked at all job openings which were advertised on the companies’ websites totaling 52,000 companies in Q1 2013. Jobs in healthcare sector that require technical skills such as positions for doctors, nurses, and radiologists, filled at the slowest rate. To fill those jobs, the advertisement lasted an average of 47 days with the next being architectural and engineering openings that took an average of 41 days to fill. Computer and math jobs did relatively better in 39 days. On the other hand, jobs that do necessarily require higher education—installation, maintenance and repair—were filled more rapidly as the opening averaged 33 days of advertisement. Some of the fastest-filling jobs were office and administrative support, manufacturing, and construction type of jobs that took about 24 to 28 days to fill up. The study also breaks down the rate into different geographic regions and showed that jobs in San Francisco and San Jose, right in the vicinity of Silicon Valley, were the hardest to fill.

CU Blog - STEM Jobs Are Filling Slowly - Photo 2This graph depicts the percentage of jobs that remain unfilled after a month of advertising in the major sectors. It displays the skill gap in which healthcare and STEM sectors have a much harder time filling their positions than construction, production, transport, repair as well as public service sectors. Some analysts have argued in the past that due to the skill gap, the unemployment rate will be slow to fall. The author states that such gap will increase as this survey results show earnings and unemployment rate for STEM and non-STEM workers will be enlarged.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean posits that the reasons why the Caribbean brain drain is so acute, reported at exceeding 70%, are “push and pull” factors. That North American, and European countries can appeal to Caribbean educated workers more enticingly that their homeland. This is the pull factor. In addition the economic, security and governing deficiencies in the Caribbean “push” the native workers to consider expatriating. This can be likened to casting a ballot. The well-educated, skilled STEM worker in the Caribbean can simply choose to vote for “none of the above”; they vote with their feet and their wallet and simply flee the region. Today, that pace is 70%. Since the Caribbean has its own needs for the STEM work force, these numbers cannot be ignored.

The Caribbean is in crisis. The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The roadmap declares that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and thus will respond to minimize “push” factors while also creating more competitive environments to dampen the pull factors.

The roadmap, in total will elevate Caribbean society. The prime directives of the CU are presented as the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The book posits that all of the Caribbean is in crisis with this brain drain problem, while at the same time we have the same urgent need for STEM talent. This point is stressed early in the book (Page 13) in the following pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence:

xix.   Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xxi.   Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

This blog relates to the challenge of mitigating the brain drain. This has been a frequent topic for these Go Lean blogs, highlighted here in the following samples:

a. Caribbean Diaspora subject to ‘poverty pay’ in Britain
b. Obama’s Plans for $3.7 Billion Immigration Crisis Funds, stressing the need for reform in the US.
c. Book Review: ‘Prosper Where You Are Planted’ – the antithesis of emigration
d. College of the Bahamas Master Plan 2025 – Lacking response for brain drain
e. Caribbean loses more than 70 percent of tertiary educated to brain drain
f. Remittances from Diaspora to Caribbean Increased By 3 Percent in 2013
g. Is a Traditional 4-year College Degree a Terrible Investment? Yes, for Caribbean students studying abroad.

The Go Lean roadmap is based on sound economic principles, of which a basic concept is supply-and-demand. For the US, according to the foregoing article, there are more demand than supply for STEM workers, In the past, demand-supply gaps have been filled with a liberal immigration policy, but there is no stomach for that in today’s political climate. So the family re-unification approach is the likely strategy to be employed imminently – ethnicities with larger immigrant populations already in the US will have an advantage but their homelands will have more brain drain.

This is the premise for this commentary, that more pressure will be created for Caribbean citizens with STEM skill-sets to consider relocation, by connecting with their vibrant diaspora and family members for applying for entry into the US.

This means war.

Actually, war has already ensued; this issue is just the latest battle in this trade war.

To assuage these fears, and counteract the Caribbean losing dispositions in this trade war, the Go Lean book details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster the best practices to mitigate further brain drain for the Caribbean region:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Anti-Bullying and Mitigation Page 23
Community Ethos – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Promote Intellectual Property Page 29
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Close the Digital Divide Page 31
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Anecdote – Valedictorian and Caribbean Diaspora Member Page 38
Strategy – Customers – Citizens, Business   Community & Diaspora Page 47
Strategy – Meeting Region’s Needs Today, Preparing For Future Page 58
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Patent,   Standards, & Copyrights Page 78
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Education   Department Page 85
Implementation – Assemble all   Super-Regional Governing Entities Page 96
Implementation – Trends in Implementing   Data Centers Page 106
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Better Manage Debt –   Better Student Loans Dynamics Page 114
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade Page 128
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Education Page 159
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Student Loans – Forgivable Provisions Page 160
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Empowering Immigration – STEM Professionals Page 174
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing (education) institutions, to lean-in for the elevations described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. This is a big deal for the region. This roadmap is not just a plan; it is also the delivery of the hopes and dreams of generations of Caribbean residents to finally assuage the brain drain.

The region needs the deliveries, described in the Go Lean roadmap. Otherwise, we have no hope to incite and retain our young people, especially those with STEM skill-sets. As a region, we would be condemned to a future of the status quo, or worse, simply “fattening frogs for snakes”. This roadmap therefore is vital in the quest to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work, learn and play.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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