Global American: Space as a business… is America ready?Published 5:57pm Sunday, September 19, 2010
Our unemployment could be 6.5 percent today if we had people with the skills
Conservative columnist David Brooks recently said that our 9.6% unemployment rate would be only 6.5 percent if we filled every empty high tech job available today. That’s today — not tomorrow or next year.
The problem? We don’t have people with the skills to fill those jobs.
That is an entirely different problem than creating jobs (“Where are the Jobs?”) It turns out the jobs are right here, but we don’t have the people with the skills to fill them.
These high tech, high paying jobs will only grow as we enter an era of commercialization of space, which the NASA-trained guest on the Global American radio program this week said is about to become a “trillion dollar business.”
The problem for America is that we aren’t producing people with the high tech skills needed to fill those jobs. Right now Texas ranks 51st in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma — dead last and behind even Washington DC which was included in the study by Brookings, at www.brookings.edu/metro/StateOfMetroAmerica.aspx.
So, how will America compete in the 21st century with people that don’t have the education to do the high-tech jobs that will drive our economy forward? We could be enjoying a better 6.5 percent vs. 9.6 percent problem right now. (So the real question should be: Where is the training?)
This week the Global American radio program explores the commercialization of space which is producing our next generation of jobs and technology leadership. We also discuss how NASA’s programs have spun off commercial technology from the computer to the heart value used by Dr. DeBakey to save lives.
Did you know that the moon’s soil has both oxygen and water in it (45 percent oxygen)? Did you know that NASA technology intended for operations on Mars has been taken by entrepreneurs to make fuel cells on earth which use 50 percent less energy to power buildings for companies such as eBay and Google? Did you know that private companies like Bigelow have invented inflatable space hotels that could house tourists in space?
Over 60 countries now have space programs. Will our people have the training and vision to take advantage of it?
— Michael Fjetland