What's New


Understanding the Talent-Creation Crisis in the Spring Issue of Employment Relations Today is Ed Gordon's latest White Paper that examines the widening jobs-skills gap that now exists across the United States and in many other world labor markets. About 95 million U.S. workers have given up looking for a job. Almost half are retirees, but many of the rest are prime-age workers who are ill-educated or need additional job-skill training to fill the estimated 5.6 to 8.1 million vacant jobs across the United States.

This White Paper first focuses on the range of socioeconomic forces driving today's talent-creation crisis finding that today's knowledge economy driven by massive technology changes requires a new education-to-employment model. It finds particular promise in regional efforts to mobilize community resources for educational change and economic growth for which Gordon has coined for acronym RETAINs (Regional Talent Innovation Networks). RETAINs are nonprofit intermediaries that bring together an array of community businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and economic and social-service programs to rebuild regional education-to-employment service delivery systems. Click on Understanding the Talent-Creation Crisis to see the complete analysis and the full scope of possible RETAIN initiatives.

Maximum Impact Education by Jack E. Oakes tell the story of how a RETAIN was established in Santa Ana, California. The author gives an engaging account of how the High School Inc. Foundation began and implemented a change-process that resulted in the establishment and continuing evolution of the Santa Ana Valley High School six CHANGE Career Academies. "The story of how Santa Ana discovered the power of the 'Business and Education Connection,'" states David Elliot, President/CEO, Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, "is an important one for every town, city, and community in America."

Maximum Impact Cover
Click on this cover image to learn more about author Jack E. Oakes, the content of Maximum Impact Education: Six Strategies to Raise Student Achievement (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) as well as information on the different formats in which it is available.


The Gordon Report

These research reports are issued periodically to chronicle Ed Gordon’s perspectives on significant developments affecting the U.S. and global workforce.

Current Report: Knowledge Shock Series 3: Apprenticeships & Other Gateways to Good Jobs.

Past Issues:

May 2014: "American Tragedy: People without Jobs: Jobs without People"
July 2014: "From Washington to South Dakota: The Search to Close the Skills-Job Gap"
September 2014: "Talent Boom or Bust"
Special Talent Alert: "How to Lose Business Talent?"
December 2014: "How Much Slack Is in the U.S. Labor Market"
January 2015: "The Future of Employment in the U.S. and World's Economy"
March 2015: "Two Perspectives: Technology and Our Culture -- A New Jobs 'Deal'"
May 2015: "Two Perspectives: Message Abundance -- Where Are the Skilled Workers"
July 2015: "Two Perspectives: Greece and China -- The Talent Hypocrisy Syndrome"
August 2015: "A Groundbreaking Book: Maximum Impact Education"
October 2015: "Confronting U.S. Workforce Decline"
February 2016: "The Undereducated Workforce: Plenty of Jobs -- Too Few Workers"
May 2016: "Behind the Employment Numbers"
August 2016: "Future Shock Becomes Job Shock"
March 2017: "Populism Can't Fix the U.S. Skills-Jobs Gap"
May 2017: "Knowledge Shock Series"
July 2017: KNOWLEDGE SHOCK Series Part 2: "Education & the Labor Market Out of Sync"

Sign up to receive future issues of the Gordon Report.

New Book Information

Future Jobs

2015 Independent Publisher Award Winner!
Bronze Medalist in  Business/Career/Sales Books

Edward Gordon's latest book, Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis is a Praeger imprint of ABC-CLIO. View publication information on this title that persuasively documents the global jobs and skills disconnect and shows how businesses, government agencies, schools, and community organizations are forging cross-sector partnerships to successfully address this growing talent mismatch.

The Gordon Report

Read an incisive interview by Lynn Gresham in Employee Benefit News that explores Future Jobs' contentions regarding the U.S. job and skills gap as well as how RETAINs (Regional Talent Innovation Networks) are helping to close this gap.

View a slide show that graphically depicts the "jobs cliff" described in Future Jobs as well as 3 solutions for saving American jobs it proposes.

Hear an audio summary of Future Jobs produced by AudioTech.

Read "Our Jobs: The American Workforce and the Economy in Crisis," Ed Gordon's latest White Paper which analyzes the factors behind the continued growth of the U.S. talent gap.

Presentation Schedule

November 1, 2017
Keynote Address, "Future Jobs and the Search for Talent"
Talent Innovation Summit
CareerSource Capital Region
Tallahassee, FL

June 14, 2017
Chicago Compensation Association Annual Summit
Keynote Presentation: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment & Skills Crisis"
Drinker, Biddle & Reath Conference Center
Chicago, Illinois

May 25, 2017
Keynote Address: "Future Jobs & Planning Regional Economic Development"
Central Wisconsin Regional Talent Summit
Stoney Creek Inn & Conference Center
Rothschild, Wisconsin

January 17, 2017
Speaker & Moderator: "Partnerships & Solutions"
Institute for Apprenticeship Training & Education Programs
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Loew's Coronado Bay Resort
San Diego, California

November 15, 2016
Featured Speaker: "Recruitment & Training in a New Economy"
62nd Annual Employee Benefits Conference
International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida

June 13, 2016
Keynote Presentation: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis"
Workshop: "Mobilizing Regional Talent Innovation Networks (RETAINs)"
Regional & Branch Campus Administration Conference (RBCA)
Longboat Key Club Resort Center
Longboat Key, Florida

March 20, 2016
Keynote Address: "Solving the Global Employment & Skills Crisis"
World Affairs Council of the Desert
Renaissance Indian Wells Resort
Indian Wellls, California

March 8, 2016
Presentation: "People without Jobs -- Jobs without People: Solving the Job-Skills Disconnect"
Cal State University Associates
California State University Palm Desert Campus
Palm Desert, California

November 5, 2015
Future Jobs Book Club Discussion, 7:00-8:15 PM
World Future Society U.S. National Capital Region Chapter
George Washington University
Duques Building Room 453
Washington, D.C.

October 26,2015
Dinner Keynote: "It's 2020! Where Are the Workers You Need?"
Midwest Distributors Association (Affiliate of the American Supply Association)
Harry Caray's in Water Tower Place
Chicago, Illinois

June 11, 2015
Webinar: "Ed Gordon Reports on the Workforce"
Sponsored by NERETA (North East Regional Employment & Training Association)

May 16, 2015
Lunch Keynote: "Future Jobs: Solving the STEM Worker Shortage"
IEEE-USA Annual Meeting: Convergence 2015
Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

January 28, 2015
Keynote Presentation: "Future Jobs: Expanding Apprenticeship Opportunities in Wisconsin"
Apprenticeship Summit with Governor of Wisconsin & CEOs
Johnson Foundation at Wingspread
Racine, Wisconsin

September 30, 2014
IEEE-USA Webinar: "Bridging Skills Gap in Computer Science and Engineering Fields"
11:00 AM - 12:00
View this webinar.

September 29, 2014
Keynote Presentation: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis"
National and Chapter Leadership Conference
Associated General Contractors of America
Willard Hotel
Washington, DC
Read an EdWeek blog on this speech.

September 18, 2014
Associated Equipment Distributors/Infor Executive Forum
Presentation: "Solving Our Skilled Workforce Crisis"
Rosemont Hilton
Rosemont, Illinois

June 4, 2014
Briefing/Discussion on the Future of Workforce Development with Vice President Joe Biden
Sponsored by the Third Way
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C.

May 22, 2014
Keynote Address: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment & Skills Crisis"
Brookings Economic Development Corporation
Governors Workforce Summit
Brookings, South Dakota

May 21, 2014
Keynote Address: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment & Skills Crisis"
Watertown Development Company
Governors Workforce Summit
Watertown, South Dakota

February 27, 2014
Milwaukee 7 Regional E.D. Partnership Meeting
Presentation: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment & Skills Crisis"
SC Johnson iMET Center
Gateway Technical College
Sturtevant, Wisconsin

December 6, 2013
Keynote Address: "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment & Skills Crisis"
New North Summit
Radisson Hotel & Conference Center
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Read an Insight report on this presentation.

November 13, 2013
Forum on Future Jobs
Cosponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce &
Chicago Renaissance Manufacturing Council
5:30-5:50 Ed Gordon Presentation
5:50-6:30 Panel Discussion with
Matthew Bruce, Executive Director, Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance
Lewis Collens, President Emeritus, Illinois Institute of Technology
Anne Edmunds, Regional Vice President, Central Division of Manpower
Place: Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

October 22, 2013
Keynote Presentation: "Future Jobs: Solving the
Employment and Skills Crisis"
Key Leaders Briefing
Hillsdale, Jackson, and Lenawee Counties Regional Summit
Sponsored by:
Hillsdale Community Health Center
South Central Michigan Works!
Economic Development Partnership of Hillsdale
Lenawee Economic Development Corporation
Jackson Area Manufacturers Association
The Litchfield Initiative
Hillsdale Intermediate Schools District
Transformation Connection

Oct.  9-10, 2013
Keynote Presentation: "Future Jobs: Solving the
Employment and Skills Crisis"
Key Business Leaders and HR Leaders Briefing
Key Education Leaders Briefing
Key Political & Economic Development Leaders Briefing Richland County Community Development Group Summit
Renaissance Theatre
Mansfield, Ohio

September 26, 2013
Keynote Presentation: Future Jobs: Solving the
Employment and Skills Crisis"
Key Business Leaders Briefing
Key Education Leaders Briefing
Wayne County Economic Development Summit
Shisler Center
Wooster, Ohio
Read a Daily Record account of the keynote presentation.
Hear a segement of this keynote speech.

Ed Gordon Panelist at White House Workforce Forum

On June 4, 2014, Ed Gordon was invited to be a panel participant in a policy forum on the future of workforce development. The Third Way, a Washington think tank, hosted this event at which Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech on the skills needed for American workforce competitiveness and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez led a discussion session on developing innovative approaches to preparing workers for high-quality jobs. Read the Third Way report on it, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Workforce Programs."

Ed Gordon Panelist at White House Workforce Forum

Media Spotlight

Read an April 2017 Herman Trend Alert which spotlights Ed Gordon's viewpoints on the challenges facing the United States and 5 other nations as they confront the skills demands posed by the increasing use of advanced technologies in today's workplaces.

A UK website, Your Ready Business, cites Future Jobs' predictiion on 4 key areas of work creation. Read the January 2016 article "Preparing Kids for a Future We Can't Even Imagine" by Delan Cassidy.

Ed Gordon and Future Jobs are cited in a March 25, 2015 Education Week article,"Employers Are Integral to Career Education Programs," by Caralee Adams. The author includes Ed Gordon's perspectives on the cultural divide between educators and those in the business world that makes cooperation on developing career-education programs difficult. She cites his findings that RETAINs and other public-private partnerships are gaining momentum as third-party coordinators of up-to-date career education and training programs. Read "Employers Are Integral to Career Education Programs."

Read "Where College Fails Students", a article that cites Ed Gordon's projections on skilled worker deficits.

In a article on the state of the U.S. economy as 2015 began, Morris Beschloss, a widely-read economic columnist, identifies a worldwide job crisis as a major concern and cites Ed Gordon as a leading analyst and speaker on how to find solutions to the skills and jobs disconnect. Read this economic review.

Hear an interview summarizing key points of Ed Gordon's presentation at the Watertown SD Workforce Summit. In thanking him, the interviewer said, You gave me a real education in that five minute interview."

In a guest blog on "The Perfect Labor Storm," a website on workforce trends sponsored by Dr. Ira S. Wolfe, Ed Gordon indicates why he believes that the U.S. unemployment picture is not improving. Read "U.S. Unemployment Stats: Fantasy vs. Reality".

Bill Moller Interview on WGN Radio, November 18, 2013.
Hear a discussion focusing on the reasons behind the job and skills disconnect and ways of solving it.

On MoneyTalk heard nationwide on over 200 radio stations, host Bob Brinker devoted a half-hour segment on November 3, 2013 to an interview on Future Jobs with Ed Gordon.

"At Issue" with John Munson, Interview, February 4, 2013.
Ed Gordon discussed issues from his forthcoming book, Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis and answered questions from listeners. This program can be accessed from the archives of WHAD Milwaukee, Wisconsin Public Radio.

Blog Talk Radio Interview, January 31, 2013.
Hear a wide ranging discussion on current workforce issues between host Dr. Robert Rose and Ed Gordon

On NPR's "All Things Considered" Chris Armold's story contains Ed Gordon's comments on the widening skills gap in the American workplace due to education and training that have not kept pace with the demands of advanced technology. Hear or read "To Fill Job Skills, Firm Brings Training In-House."

Recent Articles

"Training and the Bottom Line," Training, November/December 2016.

Surveys show that HR professionals are experiencing increasing difficulty finding skilled talent and CEOs worldwide rank skill shortages as major threats to their businesses. This article analyzes the varid responses of U.S. companies to this human-capital challenge.

Read Training and the Bottom Line

"Our Jobs: The American Workforce and Economy in Crisis," Career Planning the Adult Development Journal, Summer 2015.

In international assessments the U.S. Millennial Generation, now the backbone of our workforce, scores poorly in reading, math, and problem solving. Surveys indicate that U.S. businesses find many applicants' skills deficient, yet business investment in training generally remains low. Ed Gordon finds that a new DEAL - Demographics, Education, Automation, Longevity - is shaping today's U.S. job market. He points to the promise of RETAINs in coordinating business-education partnerships that prepare people with the skills needed for today's jobs and careers.

"Where Are the Workers?" PVF Outlook, Winter/Spring 2015.

Citing the near record low U.S. labor participation rate and the escalating number of baby-boomer retirements, Ed Gordon contends that talent creation needs to become a major U.S. labor-market focus. He finds that collaborative regional partnerships can be an effective catalyst for trackling the talent challenge on a variety of fronts.

See this issue of PVF Outlook

Peter J. Denning and Edward E. Gordon, "The Profession of IT: A Technician Shortage," Communications of the ACM, March 2015.

There is a shortage of computer technicians who perform the vital functions of operating and maintaining the information infrastructure. Education systems at present offer too few venues for training people to be IT technicians. The authors point to a variety of options for expanding such training.

Read A Technician Shortage

"Assist Reshoring through Regional Talent Innovation Networks (RETAINS)," IEEEUSA Insights, February 2015.

Re-shoring or bringing manufacturing and service sector jobs back to the United States is in the news. It is dependent on finding qualified workers. Ed Gordon explores the variety of ways that RETAINS can promote the development of a skilled workforce.

Read Assist Re-shoring

"What Can Be Done About the U.S. Talent Crisis?"
TD (Association for Talent Development), December 2014.

A growing number of surveys and research reports identify a shortage of skilled workers as a significant problem for U.S. employers. As talent creation clearly needs to be greatly expanded, this article focuses on partnerships in which businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies cooperatively develop training and education programs.

Hear a Podcast of this article

"Talent Creation and the Bottom Line," Training, November/December 2014.

As talent deficits continue to accelerate in U.S. businesses, Ed Gordon advocates changing accounting standards to allow publically held corporations to capitalize training and education expenses, so that they are treated as investments rather than expenses on their balance sheets.

Read Talent Creation and the Bottom Line

"Mobilizing a Talent Revolution in Healthcare" Surgical Neurology International, June 2014.

This editorial explores the socio-economic factors that are causing the jobs and skills disconnect in the current U.S. labor market. Ed Gordon calls for a systemic overhaul of the education-to-employment system and finds that regional public/private partnerships or RETAINs are doing this in many parts of the United States.

Read Mobilizing a Talent Revolution in Healthcare

"Economic Growth Requires Expanding Career and Technical Education." Techniques (Association for Career and Technical Education), April 2014.

Ed Gordon makes the case that more diverse elementary and high school learning is needed to prepare U.S. students for the careers of today and tomorrow. At the high school level, comprehensive career academies are providing promising new approaches. They blend a liberal arts curriculum with specific career and technical education programs as well as provide internship experiences.

"Falling Off the Talent Cliff: The Failing U.S. Jobs Machine," Employment Relations Today, Winter 2014

Arguing that skills deficits are a major reason why the U.S. labor participation rate is at a historically low level, this article focuses on how RETAINs (Regional Talent Innovation Networks) can provide regional solutions to jobs and skills mismatches.

Read Talent Cliff (Wiley Periodicals DOI10.1002/ert.21427)

"The Overlooked Issue in US Unemployment," Surgical Neurology International, February 2014

In this guest editorial Ed Gordon focuses on the decline in the US labor participation rate and what is keeping these workers on the sidelines.

Read Overlooked Issue

"RETAIN to Reskill," Training, November/December 2013

North Dakota has had the lowest unemployment rate of all the U.S. states since 2008. Ed Gordon contends that North Dakota's success in attracting new business sectors is due to this state's regional collaborative efforts to create a diversified, high-skill workforce.

Read RETAIN to Reskill

"Win the Race for Talent," Talent Management, May 2013

Arguing that U.S. business can no longer rely on finding foreign talent for their skilled job vacancies, Ed Gordon points to regional public/private partnerships or RETAINs as a way in which businesses can effectively participate to develop appropriately skilled talent.

Read Win the Race for Talent

The Talent Revolution Begins, Human Resource Executive, October 2011.

In light of the major imbalance between the talent supply and job qualifications, Ed Gordon outlines ways for businesses to spur talent creation. He also proposes a change in accounting rules to encourage business investment in training.

Read The Talent Revolution

Refocusing Strategic Talent Management, Training, January/February 2011.

Ed Gordon outlines how regional talent innovation networks can aid training professionals in building workforce skills within their organization and preparing more qualified entry-level workers.

Read Strategic Talent Management

A New Talent-Investment Metric Is Needed to Advance Technological Leadership and Increase Jobs, Employment Relations Today, Fall 2010.

Currently U.S. businesses are spending ten times more on information technology than they are on training. As shortages of skilled talent are appearing in many advanced industrial nations, what can be done to encourage more U.S. business investment in education and training?

Talent Challenge: Renewing the Vision, T+D (American Society for Training & Development), June 2010.

The current recession is being exacerbated by an educational system that is failing to prepare many American workers for the higher skill demands of the world's current labor-market economy. Ed Gordon explores what roles workplace learning and development professionals can fill now and over the next decade to mitigate this jobs-skill crisis.

Read Talent Challenge

Accounting Change Needed to Address Talent Shortfalls, WebCPA, December 2009.

The U.S. labor-economic market is facing one of the most sweeping talent realignments in its history. Current business accounting standards are stacked against making talent investments because they must be expensed rather than capitalized. Ed Gordon proposes a new talent investment metric to encourage business investment in training current employees and in establishing trainee and internship positions.

Read Accounting Change

 The Global Talent Crisis, The Futurist (World Future Society), September-October 2009.

In this issue focusing on jobs in the 21st century, Ed Gordon surveys the current upheaval in the job market and the talent shortages looming on the horizon. Advanced technologies are shifting a growing proportion of the workforce to high-skill occupations particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. The current outmoded U.S. education-to-employment system is seriously out-of-sync with these talent demands. Gordon focuses on the use of community action to rebuild education and training systems that support the industries and occupations of the future.

Read the The Global Talent Crisis. Find more information on The Futurist and the World Future Society.

Interviews & Press Coverage

Ed Gordon's contection: "The talent shortage in the United States and other developed countries will grow, as baby boomers retire and younger workers fail to pick up the needed skills," is included in "Outlook 2015: Top Trends and Forecasts for the Decade Ahead" in the November/December issue of The Futurist.

In an article for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Steve Bates quotes Ed Gordon on the potential of the 2014 Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act to build the skills of the U.S. workforce. Read HR Can Boost Workers' Skills under New Job Training Law.

The Herman Talent Alert of May 14, 2014 features Ed Gordon's views on the current state of the worldwide job market. Read People without Jobs; Jobs without People.

In "It's Time to Tackle the Skills Gap," Joe Vanden Plas commends Future Jobs' indepth analysis of this issue. He applauds its solutions for upgrading worker skills and adds a few proposals of his own. Read this In Business article

A Kiplinger Business Report includes Ed Gordon's prediction on the shortages of workers for high-skilled jobs. Read Why Do Jobs Go Begging?

In a article, "Help Wanted: 5 Biggest Shortages," Michael Evans writes about a 2012 Manpower survey of U.S. employers. The occupations they identified as most difficult were the skilled trades. Evan notes that Ed Gordon faults schools and companies for failing to provide the science, math, and technical training needed for skilled-trades employment. Read Help Wanted

Lorri Friefield's article, "Bridging the Skills Gap," in Training prominently features Ed Gordon's views on the need to overhaul the education-to-employment system as well as his thoughts on how the jobs and skills crisis can be solved in the long term. Read Bridging the Skills Gap

In a Herman Trend Alert, Joyce Gioia interviews Ed Gordon on developing business-education partnerships. Read US Playing Catch-Up

Eric Krell's article, "The Global Talent Mismatch," in HR Magazine includes Ed Gordon's viewpoints on the growing shortages of skilled workers, the shrinking training expenditures of U.S. companies, and the need to change accounting rules to allow U.S. companies to capitalize investments in training and education.

Ed Gordon's research on skill deficits and cutbacks in corporate training expenditures is cited in "Why Is It So Hard to Find Good Account/Production Managers?".  Read this Production Solutions News Alert.

Huffington Post article on attracting more women to STEM careers features Ed Gordon's projections on future demands for such workers. Read Go for Your Goals

Ed Gordon's message on the need for cooperative initiatives to build a skilled workforce received a positive response at a regional workshop in the Niagara region of Canada. Read Niagara Faces Skilled Labor Shortage

"The Top Ten Ways to Position Your Company for Growth," by Barbara Rose (Retail Leader) includes Ed Gordon's prescriptions for investing in talent. Read this article based on the insights of a panel of experts and futurists.

Ed Gordon's viewpoints on how federal job training could be made more effective is included in a report by David Shadovitz on Human Resource Executive Online. Read Revamping Federal Jobs Training

Read Sun-Times editor Tom Friesbie's blog on how Ed Gordon is focusing on develping a skilled workforce for Chicago and across the nation.

The Society for Human Resource Management interviewed Ed Gordon on the current job market and ways of changing the outlook for the future. Read Future Workforce Trends 

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