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Winning the Global Talent Showdown

New Release!

Winning the Global Talent Showdown: How Businesses & Communities Can Partner to Rebuild the Jobs Pipeline.
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler

  • Exposes the root causes of the coming talent crisis facing America, Asia, and Europe
  • Shows how we can prevent the crisis by reinventing the education-to-employment system
  • Includes dozens of examples of how this is already being done across America and around the world

Winning the Global Talent Showdown surveys the sorry state of the world talent pipeline. Demographic trends in America, Europe, Russia, and Japan are reducing the pool of new workers. As the global need for talent grows, China and India's educational systems won't be able to produce enough qualified graduates for themselves, let alone the rest of the world. But the heart of the problem is that education-to-employment system worldwide is badly outmoded. We're not producing graduates with the kinds of technical, communications, and thinking skills needed in the 21st century.

But this is fundamentally a book about solutions. It argues that we need to completely reinvent our talent-creation system — and some pioneering efforts are already underway. It describes dozens of "gateways to the future", innovative partnerships in which local governments, schools, businesses, labor unions, parents, training organizations, community activists, and others are collaborating to develop completely new approaches to education. Gordon himself is actively involved in some of these initiatives. 

Comments on Winning the Global Talent Showdown:

"Winning the Global Talent Showdown goes way beyond a mere brace of suggestions. Ed Gordon's insightful analyses of the continuing and projected workforce skill deficits are complemented by many practical and common-sense solutions."

—Kevin Hollenbeck,
Assistant Executive Director and Senior Economist
Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

"After taking us on a global tour of talent formation strategies, Ed Gordon encourages us to commit to realistic action steps for leveraging our community's talent resources into a clear and coherent working network. Each community's talent formation is an imperative and an opportunity for all to participate."

—Peggy Luce,
Vice President
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

"This book is insightful, data rich, and thought provoking. It should be a handbook for the US Department of Labor and regional community-based organizations."

—Jim McShane,
Executive Director
Crossroads Workforce Investment Board

"In the best analysis of its kind, Ed Gordon cogently defines the demographic and econmic forces presenting us with unprecedented challenges in creating the workforce we need. He proposes clear, workable solutions for addressing the education, training, and community development systems we require."

—Henry J. Lindborg,
Professor, Marian University

"Technology has exploded our need for talents to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. We must educate to meet that need. Winning shows us how."

—Paul Miller, Partner
Sonnenshein, Nath & Rosenthal

"Gordon's passion for his subject, command of the literature, expert integration of complex issues, and informal style of communicating lure the reader chapter by chapter through a thorough exposition of global workforce conditions, prescriptions for change, and a report on organizations productively preparing for their future."

—Paul Hettich, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, DePaul University

The 2010 MeldtownFeatured in the Sunday New York Times!
The 2010 Meltdown:
Solving the Impending
Jobs Crisis.

Publisher: Prague

To see part of an Ed Gordon interview on The 2010 Meltdown aired on CHTV, Ontario, Canada, click here.

The 2010 Meltdown issues a wake-up call to overcome the twin economic shocks of baby-boomer retirements and too few younger well-educated people. It details how these trends are creating a labor vacuum in a rising tide of high-skill, technology-related jobs.

  • Offers companies outsourcing alternatives
  • Spells out solutions to filling high-tech jobs
  • Provides answers for finding tomorrow's high-wage careers


The 2010 Meltdown marshals vast amounts of data to illustrate the potentially disastrous consequences of these issues for economic competitiveness and individual opportunity.

The 2010 Meltdown reveals that while parents and students are obsessed with technology, millions of high-paying jobs in engineering, computing, and health care are going unfilled.

The 2010 Meltdown challenges Wall Street's cultural obsession with short-term returns that results in cost-cutting rather than long-term training and education.

The 2010 Meltdown details solutions in community development, training, and education from around the world as models for positive action.


"Gordon, business and education consultant, challenges policy makers to address the anticipated shortage of highly educated and technically trained workers.... He describes a cultural lag that has led to "techno-peasants" who drop out of high school, have outdated career skills, and seem destined for low-paying jobs, and a business environment that focuses too much on short-term profits, outsourcing, and importing temporary workers. To produce a more educated and technically skilled workforce, he recommends a cultural change in which parents are more involved in their children's education. He also discusses how community involvement in education can be enhanced with the development of NGOs that involve businesses in local community organizations such as chambers of commerce and service clubs to guide students to new careers... The 2010 Meltdown is especially useful for business professionals, policy makers, and educators. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections."

Choice, March 2006

"Ed Gordon, a business author whose books are filled with examples, illustrations, and explanations that flow from extensive research, has done it again. In this thought-provoking book, Gordon lays out the critical situation employers will face - do face - in finding and holding employees who have the education and training to get the job done.... You can open this book to practically any page and be instantly drawn into the story.... Gordon brings this issue to life. Recommended for business leaders, educators, human resource professionals, politicians, and enlightened citizens who are dedicated to making a difference for the generations that will follow us."
                     Library Bookwatch/Midwest Book Review

"You can benefit from reading The 2010 Meltdown by Edward Gordon if you:

Recruit and manage employees.
Care about your child's career preparation.
Are an educator or policy-maker concerned about our country's economic future.
Want to counter the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots.

... "Despite some of the bleak findings and comments, Gordon's book is hopeful. He calls for action to avoid a major meltdown in our work force and describes model programs involving partnerships between educators, employers and community organizations that pave the way for others who want to work for change." (See complete Review)

Margo Frey
Milwaukee Sentinel

"Ed Gordon's latest book, The 2010 Meltdown, builds off his earlier success, Skill Wars, and makes a convincing case that organizations failing to be proactive to help create a skilled labor pool may very well face their own demise in the long term."

Richard Melson
Chambridge Forecast Group

"Whether you work in a business, service sector, non-profit organization, governmental agency, or school setting, Gordon's book prompts critical thinking about where we are headed and what we need to be both discussing and taking action upon in order to prevent a 2010 meltdown of our workforce and our economy.

Jana Kemp
Idaho Press-Tribune

Comments on The 2010 Meltdown:

"A realistic and optimistic view of the demand for/supply of talent....This book is loaded with facts and insights."

Yvette Borcia & Gerry Sterns
Sterns & Associates 

"Ed Gordon's latest book, The 2010 Meltdown, builds off his earlier success, Skill Wars, in giving the smart reader a 'nine-one-one' emergency wake-up call to the widening gap between unfilled 'Help Wanted' jobs and a workforce unfit for hire.

In his latest book, the author goes beyond the tsunami-like workplace crisis building at the 2010 threshold and spotlights promising solutions. Gordon makes it clear that the 'knowledge worker' will be in demand. The question is, 'Will there be enough knowledge workers to meet the demand?'

The 2010 Meltdown is a must read for community leaders looking to understand this paradigm shift. The author makes a convincing case that those organizations failing in the foresight and fight necessary to make the shift will begin to disappear along with low-skilled jobs."

Michael Metzler
Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce

"Read it and spread its call. The data is devastating; the problem clear. We simply aren't educating or training for today's world. Unless we wake up and begin to act now, our economy will inevitably slide and, over time, even our democratic system may be threatened. The solution? Ed Gordon tell us that it does not lie with government-national or local-alone, or business alone, or community action alone, or family alone. It requires what he sees as a change of culture: we must mobilize the energies of all of these elements to stop and reverse the meltdown. We can. But will we?"

Paul J. Miller
Senior Partner
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

"The 2010 Meltdown strikes a much needed chord for a culture change in schools and the way we value young people. Schools must become responsive to the real world. There is time to accomplish change, but is there the political will?"

Joan M. Klaus
Illinois College Access Network

"Thoroughly researched. Tightly written. This painfully realistic view of tomorrow's global workforce is provocative, instructive, and hopefully stimulating. An urgent must-read for senior executives, human resource professionals, political leaders, and progressive educators. Learn, be challenged, be inspired. It's all here!"

Roger E. Herman
CEO, The Herman Group
Author of Impending Crisis

"As always, you are right on the money. There is much to learn from every page."

Robert B. Zettler
Vice President
Workforce & Community Development
North Central State College
Mansfield, Ohio

"The 2010 Meltdown predicts that a major business culture shift is underway to balance short-term profit taking with long-term human capital development. Gordon suggests how to measure ROI on human capital investments and why employee training, development and education at all levels will be essential for business innovation and, therefore, business survival."

Peggy Luce
Vice President
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

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Skill WarsNational Best Seller!
Skill Wars, Winning the Battle
for Productivity and Profit.

Publisher: Butterworth/Heinemann

Skill Wars clearly explains  the interrelationship between investing in technology and investing in people. It shows how to increase productivity and profit through human capital development.
Skill Wars shows how to accurately measure training's ROI (Return-on-Investment) by introducing a Nine-Step ROI Worksheet.
(Click here for the Worksheet.)
This title provides business case studies that show how quality training can deliver better skills and foster the development of employee critical competencies. From across America and the world Skill Wars gathers examples of realistic career-education programs based on business-education cooperation that are preparing the next generation of workers.

See Skill Wars excerpts on Amazon.

What The Critics Are Saying About Skill Wars!

"Gordon has done an excellent job of putting the problems together.... Unlike many books ... that just identify problems, this one goes further by giving examples of ... what systems worked." 

-Robert Howell
Journal of Industrial Teacher Education

"A vital book for our times....You will bob your head up and down in agreement as you read this book. You'll also shake your head in disbelief and amazement as you realize how far behind we are - how much remains to be done. Gordon cites the numbers, concentrating on the ROI: the Return-on-Investment in building skills and capacity....The pages are packed with information....More people need to read this book. Now."

-Roger Herman, author
Impending Crisis,

"If you are a member of upper management, we predict you will find Ed's insight and precise methodology enormously enlightening."

-Joseph H. Boyett & Jimmie T. Boyett, co-authors
The Guru Guide,

"This is the book every employee would love to have his/her employer read. Just as important, virtually every worker, regardless of profession, would love to see concepts from this tome implemented at the workplace....A powerful, surprisingly easy-to-read book that's simply a must for anyone in business today."

Harvey Star

"Hailed by business leaders and forward-looking educators alike, this provocative new book addresses the disparity between available jobs and trained workers -- concluding that our college-at all costs mentality gravely threatens our economy and cheats our students. The solution? Redoubled emphasis on career and technical education, curriculum integration, computer literacy and teacher technology education."

-Association for Career & Technical Education

"Whatever our product or service, a trained workforce is the key to victory. If you need convincing, read Ed Gordon's Skill Wars. If you're already convinced, read it for the new tools it gives you to measure the impact of your training efforts on the bottom line."

-Paul J. Miller, Senior Partner
Sonnenschein, Nath, & Rosenthal

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Future WorkFutureWork, the Revolution Reshaping American Business
by Edward E. Gordon, Judith A. Ponticell, & Ronald R. Morgan
Publisher: Praeger/Greenwood

The authors offer proven skills, training, and educational applications that develop individual employee thinking for total quality management, ISO 9000, or other quality-team business programs. FutureWork develops the great potential of using cognitive-based learning to empower people for quality and workplace leadership systems that move beyond traditional behavior-based training techniques. The authors explain what can and cannot be done to increase "creative thinking," insight, and adult intelligence. They provide bottom-line measures for assessing the effectiveness of training procedures and show how a commitment to substantive life-long employee education can build a stronger business and corporate presence in the marketplace of the future.


"The book FutureWork is a terrific example of how research can be complied so that training and development practitioners can put it to use immediately."

-Training & Development

"What separates this book from others that promote management and employee training efforts is that it is well-informed, well-written, well-researched, clearly illustrated, and chock-full of case studies and examples. Several features of this book are particularly outstanding. First is the authors' genuine understanding of the deep educational needs of American workers, Second, the authors emphasize a cognitive information process over behavioral approaches to worker training and education. Finally, unlike many "how-to" books, this book actually tells one "how to." I recommend this book to those involved in adult business education."

-Personnel Psychology

"This thoughtful and provocative presentation of the role of business in preparing its human resources for the 21st century is written to enable trainers to increase the power and scope of educational programs for the workforce. It is equally relevant to the academic community in structuring business curricula to prepare students to think critically and creatively, to solve problems, to exercise judgment, and to learn new skill and knowledge throughout a lifetime.... Each chapter is well researched and clearly written, and contains an extensive list of references. Pertinent to business faculties as well as to those responsible for continuing education programs."


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Closing the Literacy Gap in American BusinessClosing the Literacy Gap in American Business
by Edward E. Gordon, Judith A. Ponticell, & Ronald R. Morgan
Publisher: Quorum/Greenwood

The authors present their perspectives on workplace literacy past, present, and future and describe how twenty-first-century technology produced America's "literacy gap." The book reviews strengths and weaknesses of current literacy programs, and discusses research on difficult employee literacy problems. Actual case studies describe Individualized Instructional Programs (IIP) for hourly workers, support staff, managers, and professionals. It includes a game plan on how to establish company "Work Force Education" policy and offers multi-level, cost justified programs. Finally, international responses to workplace literacy are considered, along with the development of employee literacy into the next century.


"A well-researched book [that]...offers tested strategies and programs to improve worker skills in an increasingly complex labor market. Of compelling general interest is the author's documentation of the current workforce literacy and skill crisis."

-Carol Kleiman
Chicago Tribune

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Enhancing Learning in Training and Adult EducationEnhancing Learning in Training and Adult Education
by Ronald R. Morgan, Judith A. Ponticell, & Edward E. Gordon
Publisher: Praeger/Greenwood

This book picks up where the well-received FutureWork (1994) left off. It builds a strong case for workplace trainers treating their work as research. The nine chapters are designed to prepare readers to become workplace consultants. The authors present their workplace training program of research as well as a mastery learning model. By presenting ideas from instructional psychology, cognitive science, mastery learning, and performance based assessments, and then relating these findings to the workplace, the authors offer a new way to look at learning in the workplace. Considerable focus is given to the need to enhance diversity within workplace settings. Suggested readings are included with each chapter.


"The purpose of this welcome addition to the area of adult education and training, stated in the preface, is 'to build a strong case for the notion that workplace training would be well served if they [trainers] viewed their work as research.' ...A number of common themes are addressed, including outcome-based education, mastery learning techniques, and practitioners' need to take a test-train-test hypothesis approach to work-related issues in designing training programs. Training applications paradigms are presented throughout, and most of the nine chapters end with the sections `Terms to Know, Questions to Consider,' and `Suggested Readings.' Well researched and well written, this book should be of interest to professionals and practitioners in adult education and to advanced graduate students and higher education faculty and researchers."


"Presents an approach to workplace training that is anchored in the literature of education psychology. Discusses the benefits of incorporating cognitive science theories into the leading paradigms of instructional psychology. The authors contend that such links will allow the trainer to treat workplace education and training as research laboratories and design programs that minimize learning differences such as attention, cognitive style expectancies, and memory organization."

-Book News, Inc.

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