Last week, the White House hosted a jobs forum. Those who were invited, showed up; those who weren’t, griped elsewhere. As much as the President has called for initiatives to improve education and encouraging and financing higher education, with the exception of the “green jobs,” you don’t hear much about technical education which often feeds the entrepreneurial spirit. For me, it’s never been an either/or proposition. I’ve benefited from a rigorous academic education and technical training, and I’m self employed. For my work, I depend on both. Call it the “Booker T. DuBois” plan.

Of course a winning move on the White House’s part would be to recommend that the unspent stimulus monies or refunded TARP funds (that were not turned into loans by the banks) be applied to job creation especially since there was a little good news from the Department of Labor regarding unemployment figures. Emphasize “little.” I mean, what lawmaker up for re-election will shoot down creating jobs in 2010?

Technical education isn’t for the faint of mind or spirit, and it’s not a magic bullet. During the Clinton years some people scammed their way into securing government contracts to launch work training programs which produced limited results if any at all. We can’t afford that lack of oversight now.

What skills will a 21st century workforce need and will the jobs be there to apply those skills? Will it be a global playing field? There are some things that can only be done on the home turf. I guess these questions should be asked at one of the local jobs forums (sign up here).

This CBS “Sunday Morning” story of the culinary arts classes at Frankford High School in Philadelphia and teacher Wilma Stephenson (featured in the documentary “Pressure Cooker”) is an example of what technical training can achieve. There’s no reason why one can’t combine culinary training with an academic education. Food has history, menus have to be written, displayed and explained, and there is a science and math angle to the selection and preparation of food. The “Pressure Cooker” film site has links for you to support these programs.
Watch CBS News Videos Online

And just to make this post sweeter, I’m adding a Job Announcement – the following position is open to qualified candidates:

Position Available –

Director of Programs and Communications
Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HCWDC)

The Humanities Council of Washington, DC seeks a creative and intellectually curious Director of Programs and Communications. This unique individual will combine a love of civic engagement and the humanities with the ability to create, launch and implement public humanities programming and public relations efforts that support the whole of HCWDCs mission and programs.

Duties include:
• Design and administer multiple programs including: Conversations on Great Streets, Who Is A Washingtonian?, Soul of the City, Big Read, the Biennial International Program and television programs, including all planning, budgeting and reporting processes and audience development
• Assist in the development and strengthening of DC-wide partnerships that these programs rely on for their successful outreach and audience
• Establish goals, schedules and quantifiable targets for Outreach efforts, including increasing audience, and maintaining and increasing audience databases
• Create, launch and implement a comprehensive, targeted, and sustainable public relations program that supports HCWDC mission and will result in increased audiences for programs, increased funding and increased public awareness of HCWDC’s grants and programs
• Prepare promotional materials and press releases for grants and programs
• Manage, and maintain website: posting regular and accurate updates and serving as liaison with staff to keep information current
• Manage all Humanities-hosted listservs and social marketing outreach; develop and maintain system for web-based forum discussions and blogs
• Supervise and mentor interns and consultants who assist with programs and communications
• Assist the Executive Director and Director of Development in securing funds to support new and existing programs by providing ideas and materials and meeting with prospective donors as necessary
• Maintain Program Management Manual for all programs
• Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director

Required Skills and Experience:
• Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically; comfortable with turning ideas into engaging public programs;
• Experience in using new media to promote organizations and their missions;
• Experience in program development and program management;
• Experience in marketing, public relations and audience development;
• Website management experience;
• Intermediate/advanced office computer skills including: word processing, PowerPoint, spreadsheet proficiency and database management;
• College degree in communications, humanities or related discipline;
• Efficient time management and project planning skills;
• Well-developed interpersonal skills, professional appearance and manner; willingness to go out into the DC community to promote the Council’s public programs, to attend outside events and network among individuals and organizations;
• Initiative, flexibility, and enthusiasm, while working well independently and as part of a team; and
• Demonstrated understanding and appreciation for diverse cultures.

To Apply: please send a cover letter, a resume, and writing sample (that demonstrates familiarity with public outreach or public programs such as website content, press releases, public program descriptions) by December 15, 2009, to:
Human Resources Department
Humanities Council of Washington, DC
925 U St., NW
Washington, DC 20001


The Humanities Council of Washington, DC is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and celebrates 30 years of service to Washington. Its mission is to transform lives through the power of the Humanities. The Humanities Council of Washington, DC began in 1980 as a grant making agency and has grown to become both a funder of community projects and producer of programs, ensuring that public education in the Humanities reaches diverse audiences across wards, neighborhoods, and cultures.

HCWDC is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer with a small core staff that values collaboration, creativity and flexibility in the work-place.