Bean: Shortage of workers, shortage of meaning

by Paul Bean

Vermont is a challenging place to live, and we want to ensure that our youth is being educated on the most valuable skills they can use to meet their expenses and grow themselves as people. Education and development is far more than tangible skills.

Paul Bean

It’s no secret to anyone, Vermont has a workforce crisis. Our workforce crisis is representative of a much greater issue. We have a “shortage of meaningfulness.” I’ve seen this and experienced this. People feel as if their work lacks meaning, and lacks purpose.

Before the pandemic this was an issue, but has only been exacerbated by the unintended consequences of the measures we took in the name of safety. Today only 61% workforce participation; Twenty THOUSAND workers short of what’s needed. For context, workforce participation was well over 70% before the turn of the millenia.

Workforce development has long been a key component to Governor Scott’s objectives and this is for good reason. When people are given a skill, a mission, or a goal to strive for, their life is much more fulfilling.

There is a stigma about not going to college. That you won’t ever be able to find meaningful, well paid work.

Make no mistake, this is completely untrue. Some of the most successful people I know did perfectly well without attending university of any kind. To solve our workforce crisis, we need to put more energy, time, and funding into our vocational schools and trade schools.

We need to ensure all our youth are not JUST being driven to go to college because: college is not for everyone. These are challenging jobs, and some of them very dangerous! They require our best and brightest minds.

When I look at the great civilizations of the past and I see the great structures and testaments of time that have been built, I wonder, what drove them to do such incredible things? How did they even do it?

They were driven to create something great, and something that went much further beyond building for the sake of money. Money, while a useful tool, has its limits. You can throw all the money in the world at a project, but if you don’t have a team of driven, creative, and efficient visionaries, the work is MEANINGLESS, and ugly.
How can I ignite that flame? Where are the intangible values?! Truthfully, when I look back at history and the incredible feats of humans, I feel a little jealous!

When I’ve worked on job sites and workplaces, a common theme I’ve experienced is the a feeling of meaninglessness. Menial tasks, repetitive, no major objective or goal to overcome. There is a notion in the air that “welp, this is what I’ll be doing for the next 40 years so I may as well take my time.”

What are we building? Why are we working? Ultimately, we are building a better society! People feel as if their work MUST be compensated. They want to feel like their work is worth their hardships and struggles. They want the bills paid, food on the table, a roof over their heads, money aside for personal projects/passions, and for the future. People want their needs met, a dependable future. If we can offer that, we can start focusing on larger accomplishments.

If we can offer that to a young person out of college or high school then our workforce issue is gone. I can tell you from experience, we are not offering that in this State of Vermont.

I want to be an example for young people in the state that there is NO LIMIT to what you can achieve here. I want to bring our crisis of meaninglessness to the Senate, and root it out! I am sure, those who have served in the Senate for many years have lost sight of this purpose, that flame. It is time to bring meaning back to the table. With the right vision, and right legislation, we have the capacity to be an example to the rest of the world and a culture committed to greatness in our work.

-Paul Bean, Candidate for State Senate, Washington County Stowe, Orange, Braintree

Categories: Commentary

8 replies »

  1. There are useless careers out there. Paul you are right. Among them are gamers who write software. Another is creating TIC TOK videos. Social justice warrior jobs. Truth fact checkers is another. Censor algorithm writers for Facebook and Twitter. The list goes on. On the other hand, all those mundane assembly line factory jobs that we refuse to do, now serve the Chinese people just fine. Providing for your family is enough reason to give someone meaning for the rest of their lives. Your job is not your value. This new generation wants to have “descretionary” jobs. They don’t want the jobs that are crucial to survival like farming, like supplying infrastructure for water and power. They want the jobs that pay well but are not necessities. Grow up. get married. have children. Enjoy the struggle. Don’t wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain!

  2. According to the United Way, one out of seven Vermonters works for a non-profit. Vermont is a grifters paradise. Learn how to apply for grants, register as 501C, and become a predator on the unfortunate, improverished races of every color. In Vermont, you are not required to actually solve a problem with your program or non-profit. You just need to say you will, grease a few palms to get your paperwork approved, pay your brainwashed uneducated staff peanuts, gaslight the community, and pay yourself well as an “expense”. This is how they all operate. This how every taxpayer is ripped off and the reason the State is soon to be bankrupt.

    • You challenge yourself and stop looking for “meaning” (whatever that means) from others. In the 70s I worked in a sewing factory for piecework. Every day I would challenge myself to be faster with fewer errors. I loved that job. Then I worked in construction. Hard, back-breaking work (and I have the spine surgery scars to prove it). I loved that job and driving by a project later thinking, “I built that.” We created a population of slackers by giving everyone a damn trophy for showing up. Create your own rewards and be grateful for your blessings. Who gives a crap what someone else thinks of you?

    • Spot on Melissa! Saw this in southern Vermont. Same people maintaining grant funded jobs and accomplishments were far and few between.

  3. Paul Bean is a breath of fresh air—a young
    man who can actually think for himself! We often complain that the legislature is just a bunch of old people with time on their hands, sitting in Montpelier waiting to be told how to vote. We’ll here’s your chance to put some young blood and new thinking into the Senate!
    Paul Bean for State Senate!!

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