HED:Manufacturers Association, others put posters in public schools
By Bobby Harrison
“What do employees expect from me?
– Come to work every day – on time.
– Make smart decisions.
– Concentrate on my work and care about the quality of my work.
– Read, write and calculate well.
– Recognize problems and find solutions.
– Finish a job when I’m supposed to without sacrificing quality.
– Be honest and dependable.
– Work hard and take the lead.
– Communicate well and get along with others especially customers.
– Dress properly and practice good grooming.
– Be cooperative and have a positive attitude.
– Be drug free.
JACKSON – Many of the state’s employers are teaming up with the public schools to educate students on what is expected for them to hold a job.
“We hope we are going to pass on good information to students that will benefit them” in the job market, said Jerry McBride, president of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.
The Manufacturers Association has teamed up with six other Mississippi associations representing almost half of the state work force to develop a poster called “what do employers expect from me?”
The seven groups have printed 35,000 copies of the poster, and the state Board of Education has agreed to place the posters in the state’s 30,000 public school classrooms.
The poster, to a large extent, states the obvious, said McBride and others at a news conference at the Mississippi Manufacturers Association building in Jackson Tuesday. At the top of the list is to come to work on time every day. Other traits needed for a good employee include following directions, being drug free, dressing properly and practicing good grooming habits, being honest and dependable and making smart decisions.
The poster and other such efforts are needed, McBride said, because of the tight labor market. John Baas, director of industrial relations for the Manufacturers Association, said the public education system is turning out for the most part students who have the traits needed to be a good employee.
“Those people who do those things already have jobs,” Baas said.
But in many areas of the state, employers are having difficulty finding people who have the traits described in the poster.
Statistics for July from the Mississippi Employment Security Commission indicate the state has an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent with about 78,600 unemployed people.
“In today’s tight labor market it is important that we find every possible employee,” McBride said. “There are jobs available if people are prepared for the working environment. We are not talking about people with technical skills.
“Most employers will give their employees extensive training, if they can find someone with a willingness to work and an understanding of what makes a good employee.”
State Superintendent of Education Richard Thompson said he hopes teachers talk about the poster with children in the early grades. In some cases, he said, teachers might be able to incorporate the poster into the curriculum. He said the same traits needed to make a good employee are needed to do well in school.
Thompson said he was excited about the public schools’ joining the partnership with the employers. Both he and McBride said teachers and employers, who visit the schools, will stress the traits needed to be a good employee. But he said there also is a need for parents and others in the community to stress those traits.
“While our main focus at the Department of Education is on student achievement, it is important for schools to emphasize and stress character traits such as honesty, loyalty, the ability to work well with others and simply getting to work on time,” Thompson said.
The other associations involved in the production of the poster are the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Associated General Contractors, the Mississippi Bankers Association, the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Mississippi Retail Association and the Mississippi Road Builders Association.
McBride said the groups will print more posters if they are needed.