Via the New York Times, an analysis of how workers affected by the pandemic can recover their positions:
Training has always been a challenge for policymakers, and the pandemic complicates matching new skills with jobs. Austin Urick, 31, went back to school after he lost his job last year selling equipment for the oil and gas industry. He enrolled at San Jacinto College near Houston to learn instrumentation and electrical systems. He expects to graduate this month, certified to calibrate and replace gauges and pumps used by oil and gas companies.
The industry, however, has suffered during the pandemic. While he has some good leads, his job hunt hasn’t yielded any offers. “It is worrisome,” Mr. Urick said. “But my Plan B is not just oil and gas.” The instrumentation degree can be taken in different directions. “I can work in an elevator company or in a hospital, anywhere that has gauges,” he added. “I can go down the street to Budweiser.”
One of the things that I did not fully recognize is how much the pandemic would have impacted the oil and gas industry, i.e. millions of people no longer driving their cars would have a signficant impact on revenue. Best wishes to Mr. Urick, and to us all.
*There's talk in the article about a "New Deal for skills", but I'm skeptical, i.e. the history of government retraining programs of jobs isn't so great. Still, significant funds for individual job retraining is something I would support, especially if we could figure out a nimble/viable way to make it happen. (A big if).