At Skilled-Worker Competition, Everybody Wins

We hear almost daily that the careers of the future are in high technology, and to survive in this future our children and grandchildren will need education in the realm of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). There may be a grain of truth in that, but the nation still needs workers skilled in hands-on occupations — everything from cosmetology to construction, electrician to elevator technician. This is where SkillsUSA comes in. This association serves people preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled-service occupations, and it showcases its efforts in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. This year, the event drew 18,000 people to Louisville, Kentucky, many of them competing with peers in an event that’s doing its part to revive the trades. Good-paying jobs are out there; SkillsUSA is showing the way to them. While many of the competitors in this year’s event were young people just starting out, others were mid-career folks looking for new opportunities; the oldest was 73. Special thanks to the nonprofit WorkingNation for helping to get the word out through its promotion of the event.

A Swiftly Changing Landscape

A cool infographic by Raconteur accompanies Desjardins’ article posted on You can check out a high-resolution version of the visual element through a link in the story.

In a fascinating peek into the not-so-distant future, Jeff Desjardins, writing on the website Visual Capitalist, takes a by-the-numbers look at how technology is fueling a swiftly shifting media landscape. When, and how, we get information has changed dramatically in just a few years, and if trends count for anything, bigger changes are ahead. As Desjardins puts it:

“Over your lifetime, the consumption of media and entertainment has already changed drastically.
“For Boomers and Gen Xers, the shift has been earth-shattering. Both generations will remember a time before mainstream computing when TV was dominated by the Big Three TV networks (NBC, ABC, and CBS), and newspapers and magazines were the main way to stay in touch with what was happening.
“Even millennials have seen fundamental shifts in consumption of media. After all, they experienced the rise of social media, online news, streaming, and digital video firsthand. Many of them will remember their college getting access to Facebook for the first time, the death of Napster, and the funny sounds their 28.8k modem made as it struggled to successfully download a single image file.”

It’s fair to assume that the coming changes will affect virtually everyone who consumes information. Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re already a little ahead of the game, and you probably know you can read ELEVATOR WORLD on your computer, phone or tablet. Where will you be reading it a couple of years from now?

Coming Soon to a City Near You?

U.K.-based Daily Mail has reported on what is says could be “the world’s tallest building ever.” Analemma Tower would be suspended from an orbiting asteroid 31,068 miles above Earth. It would hover above various places as it swings in a figure eight between the northern and southern hemispheres each day.

If the importance of a tethered high-strength cable sounds familiar, you may remember it from various space-elevator proposals. Here, one would be attached to an asteroid that is lowered to Earth and attached to the tower.

Could this be the start of a new wave of building design, or is it as Eugene Pharr commented, “just a ‘space elevator’ that is not anchored at the bottom”?