Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generations

Mark C. Perna. Greenleaf, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-62634-511-9
A perceptive if padded discussion of the “skills gap”—between the good jobs, which need young employees, and the young employees who need good jobs—arrives from Perna, CEO of the consulting firm TFS. He finds the U.S. economy at a tipping point, or “branch-creak moment,” the moment when one is way out on a limb and hears it start to break. According to Perna, there are around six million jobs open in the U.S., but nobody prepared to take them. These are middle- to high-skilled jobs that pay a living wage, but garner little respect, such as precision machinist and automotive technician. So how can these jobs be connected with the “why generation,” young people who question why things are done the way they are and want a sense of purpose from their jobs? Perna’s plan includes overcoming generational rifts, such as between the baby boomers’ “live to work creed” and younger generations’ greater concern with “meaningful lifestyle experiences,” and emphasizing employment-geared “education with purpose,” rather than education for education’s sake. Reasonable and thought-provoking arguments all, but a long-form article would have served the same purpose; readers are likely to find this full-length treatise a stretch. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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