Thursday, June 20, 2019


The program goes back to WWII to allow veterans who dropped out of high school a way to have a high school diploma.  It took until the 70's but eventually all 50 states adopted the test. Click for history

The other day I went after a store manager after two customers walked out over a lack of customer service (it was a big box store specializing in home repair), and I was at 10 minutes waiting for assistance.  I went to a competitor.

Why did I give the manager a one over.  I know for a fact the store has many job openings.  I help several people with on line job applications.  In multiple cases after HR would clear their applications and send them an email telling them they have been cleared for an interview, I would send them with the email and their resume in hand.  To a person the store manager refused to interview them.  The work experience had zero value to the store manager.  The lack of a GED was a job killer.

Believe it our not we have several former managers at several of the big box stores without a GED who based on hard work, and being self starters worked their way into management.  But many of these stores because of closings or a need to save money are laying off people with 20+ years of experience.

For this store manager, two semesters each of remedial reading, writing and math at TSC had no value.  At the corporate level it is an alternative to a GED.

So I told the store manager because of their ignorance customers are leaving for a lack of customer service while good employees cannot even get an interview.

I could not walk in cold and pass the GED.  Although I have helped many people in getting two A's in the TSC Algebra course I just do not remember the rules well enough to pass the math part of the GED.  Plus I do not have the visual capacity for word problems.

When I worked on the B1-Bomber I knew nothing about inventory control.  I started by stocking parts to be pulled later for assembly, and left as the foreman over machine shop production control.  I was smart enough to learn Basic and Fortran, the basic computer languages while in college, in 77.  I changed how inventory control was done at LTV.  The programmers knew nothing about inventory control, but I knew Basic and Fortran and was able to tell  them how to write the programs we needed to better manage inventory control.  It made a big difference in moving parts.

Before leaving for law school my unit was the only one on schedule  and I was offered a $25,000 raise and bonus to stay.  My wages were lower than others in the same position because I entered the company after a union contract reduced wages.  Boy was I tempted because I loved the job.

My point is, without any formal training as an Industrial Engineer, I out performed my peers.


I trust Alex as a true Democrat who cares about these issues.  Change at the federal level would be more of a challenge.  The great thing about our system of government is each state can experiment with policies which then lead other states to adopt those policies.

I cannot explain why, but I can get older adults through the remedial courses at TSC, but not through the GED. 

There are other programs like the GED not recognized by employers, but the problem remains the same.

Texas needs to adopt an alternative to the GED.

We need a point system which gives people credits for time on a job.  20 years with endless promotions must have value.  We need to give points for each remedial course students pass at TSC or any other community college.  You get my point.  There should be other ways to earn points.  Then the State should issue a GED based on experience and the remedial courses.

I am sending someone to Houston for forklift training and OSHA certification.  I know someone who is going to bring him in as a temporary summer hire and give him the training.  He will return to Brownsville, but will still face the problem of no GED.  The good paying jobs are there. 

In one case I was able to place someone with a good wage with a national corporation which values work experience over a piece of paper.  He is doing real well in his job.  He is a self taught inventory control specialist and has taken to the job real fast.  Now in the end, is not that which matters.

Alex Dominguez needs to work with employers, educators and those in the community caught up in this mess over a GED and try and find an alternative to the GED.  It will mean jobs for so many people.  Brownsville has the jobs. What it does not have is job training in the high demand areas, other than the medical field, or workers who cannot get the job because of the GED issue.

It is time we start to educate employers there is more to a worker than a piece of paper.  Their value is in their work ethic and history of success on the job.

Alex it is time to think outside the box and try and find an alternative to a GED.

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