Monday: Skills Gap, LIVE from the Hartford Public Library
“Middle skills” jobs – which require more than a high school diploma, but less than a 4-year degree – could be key to our economic growth. Does Connecticut have the workforce to fill them? Or do we have a “skills gap” between workers trained for jobs, and employers looking to fill them? 52 percent of American employers surveyed by staffing company ManpowerGroup say they’re finding “talent shortages.” But the problem may come down to being able to pay those workers a living wage – and offer a little bit of training. The Connecticut Department of Labor predicts that by 2018, two thirds of jobs in the state will be middle or low skill. Whose problem is it if the workers who could fill those jobs aren’t quite ready for them – and what are we doing in Connecticut to try to close the skills gap? Today we air a previously taped show from the Hartford Public Library, in partnership with the Connecticut News Project.
Tuesday: Labeling GMOs and Toxic Chemicals
We’ll hear about current legislation that would require labeling of “genetically engineered foods.” Grassroots organization GMO Free CT is pushing the bill, while some in the farm industry see this as unnecessary regulation. Also, Connecticut has been on the forefront of banning toxic chemicals from baby bottles, children’s jewelry and receipt paper. Now the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT is pushing further laws to require manufacturers of children’s products to provide notice to the public health commissioner if products contain chemicals that might harm children. Bills would also ban toxic fire retardants in children’s products, and label food and drink packaging that contains BPA. And CT Mirror reporter Mark Pazniokas joins us to talk about former House Speaker Chris Donovan’s campaign finance director’s corruption trial starting this week.
Wednesday: Paving Paradise
The retail landscape of Connecticut is…repetitive. It’s evident just by John Dankosky’s drive to work down Route 44. We took a drive down that stretch of road with the Hartford Courant’s Tom Condon and took note of the numerous shopping plazas that now line the road. On 44, why does just 1.4 miles separate CVS pharmacies? And why are there so many darn Dunkin’ Donuts? We’ll talk about the landscape and retail sprawl of Connecticut and America.
Thursday: Government: Why Bother?
Why do we bother with government? The influence of money and power can seem to get in the way of democracy. Compromise might water down our ideals to no real change at all. How big a problem is apathy among young voters? What can we do to get people engaged – and will it make a difference? Join us for a conversation along with special guests in studio – a civics class from Bulkeley High School in Hartford.
Friday: Back to the Present
What does it mean to be human right now? Big thinker Douglas Rushkoff joins us to talk about “presentism” and his new book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. We’re now living in the future but we just don’t have time to live in it. Instead, we’re playing the endless game of “catch-up” on email and social media. Block off your calendars and join the conversation live – you won’t want to listen to the podcast later.