Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting Caught in Economic Malaise Unnecessarily

Last Friday, I listened to Trent Cowles, a seventeen year veteran of Merrill Lynch, recommend turning off CNBCbecause it’s just too depressing and distracting.  Cowles was giving his view of the US economy on short notice for Don Steel, a member of the NYSE who was ill.  So, forty-five minutes before the planned presentation, Cowles had been recruited to stand in.

And yesterday as I glanced at the front page of the Indianapolis Business Journal, I was caught up in the “malaise” myself.  The IBJ’s front page article, “Hard work, but no pay for unemployed, searching for job is full-time endeavor”, featured three local area white collar executives, two whom I know personally.

Knowing them, I feel like our economy has betrayed them.  Both well educated, they are the knowledge based workforce of the 21st Century economy that Indiana’s economic development leaders at Biocrossroads and Conexussay we have to retain.  Lou Begnel has a life sciences technical background plus an MBA.  And, Scott Sigman is a intermodal transportation expert with a Masters from the London School of Economics.  These are the types of guys that the Indiana economy is supposed to be catering to, right?  All the economic development talent strategies, corporate recruiting strategies, and talent acquisition strategies are supposed to be focused on these types of people.

So in the midst of thinking about Lou and Scott’s trouble in finding employment, I’m starting to believe all the doom and gloom that is coming through every media outlet.  Then I glance at my open positions and recruiting assignments for March and realize that we’ve got more work now than we had in November – which was our best month for 2008.  All the positions are with employers having 500 or fewer employers and they probably won’t fill the positions quickly due to the slow economy.  But, there are jobs out there.  Hope is not lost.

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