Monday, February 3, 2014

Indianapolis resident calls out John Lechleiter

Glad chemists aren't the only ones who find John Lechleiter's double-speak offensive:
Lilly layoffs run counter to STEM demands 
I can’t stomach any more hypocrisy from Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter. Lechleiter has made an appeal in two recent articles in The Star for stronger science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education so that businesses such as Lilly can be competitive with peer companies. While it is admirable to push students to take challenging curriculums in school, Lechleiter is responsible for displacing at least 5,500 employees from Lilly from 2010 to 2013 who had the educational credentials he claims are void in Indiana. Lechleiter should remain silent on this matter as his action of discarding these highly educated people demonstrates his true value for STEM-educated people. 
Denise Bain
Indianapolis
 I can't figure out which articles that Ms. Bain is referring to, but this is probably one of them, and this editorial in the Indianapolis Star is fairly supportive of Dr. Lechleiter's position. 

10 comments:

  1. Im seeing MOAR STEM means two things:

    1.) The popular "We need more average/above average STEM workers to accept the poor wages we want to offer", and
    2.) "We need more of the super brilliant, creative STEM workers that can drive our faltering business to new profits." (the Purdue effect, if you will).

    I wish I had been born a brilliant STEM guy. Im just average. Therefore, I'm not in demand, unless I drop my acceptable wage to $20,000/year.

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  2. Can we do some sort of kickstarter campaign to place something similar as this letter as a page ad in a big newspaper such as the Washington Post? We can advertise the campaign on the blogs and even if we don't raise enough money, it will probably get enough publicity to get this Lechleiter guy to shut up.

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    1. "In late February, Christine Miller and Sona Shah went to the Capitol Hill office of Miller’s senator, Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, to talk about immigration reform and the job market for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers. Miller, an American-born MIT grad with a PhD in biochemistry, had 20 years of research experience when Johns Hopkins University laid her off in 2009 because of funding cuts. Shah, an Indian-born US citizen with degrees in physics and engineering, had been laid off earlier by a computer company that was simultaneously hiring foreign workers on temporary visas. Proposals to increase admission of foreign stem workers to the US, Miller and Shah told Erin Neill, a member of Mikulski’s staff, would worsen the already glutted stem labor market.

      "According to Miller, Neill told them this is not the argument 'she normally encounters on this issue.' The conventional wisdom is that tech companies and universities can’t find enough homegrown scientists to hire, so they need to import them from China and India. Neill suggested to Miller and Shah that 'we would have more impact if we represented a large, organized group.'"

      http://www.cjr.org/essay/it_doesnt_add_up.php?page=all#sthash.ryNJmX7r.dpuf

      Take out all the ads you want or send a letter to your Congress critter every day. You will NOT be getting through to these people. It's organizations...more specifically, organizations' money...that matters to them. Lechleiter and his buddies have a lot more to spend than all of us combined.

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    2. That's why an ad targeted against a specific company, that will make them scared for their bottom line, will be a lot more effective. They'll need to spend a lot more money to limit the damage and it will get a subsequent ripple effect in the medea. It's much better than going to speak with a congressperson.

      If this ad has been paid for by private money of a large number of chemists and other scientists through kickstarter, and it will say that in the end, it will be more effective than anything Lilly puts together.

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  3. Seriously. An ad in a major publication would be great. I heard the VP of my research facility the other day talk about how there were 4 STEM jobs for every 1 applicant, or some ridiculous stat like that. It was really hard for me to keep my mouth shut.

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    1. Only if you include the ridonkulous health-care stats: http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2012/10/why-change-equation-is-wrong-headed.html

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    2. Which is sort of like saying that Michael Jordan and Stacey King combined for 70 points one night.

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  4. Personally, I think the conversion of full-time Lilly employees to contract Albany Molecular workers, during the summer a couple years ago was more egregious.

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    1. Lechleiter/Lilly has not lacked for chutzpah in terms of chemical employment in recent years. Too bad.

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    2. Unless this was swept under the rug, I don't believe current Lilly folks were moved into the AMRI jobs when this happened. I'm sure a few displaced workers from previous layoffs may have jumped at this gig.

      I knew of a couple of people who interviewed and got jobs down there who weren't ex Lilly folks. The wages were about 60-75% of what they made in other pharma companies.

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