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AT&T; says hard to find skilled U.S. workers



Not that long ago, the leaders of AT&T announced that they were going to return 5,000 customer service jobs to the United States that they had outsourced to India.

But now, two years later, the head of that top U.S. phone company says it’s having trouble finding enough skilled American workers to fill those positions.

So far, not even one-third of the jobs have been returned to the United States out of the 5,000. The company still hopes to fill all those jobs here but it hasn’t been easy.

In some U.S. communities, for example, the high school dropout rates is as high as 50 percent, so it makes it really hard to find skilled workers to fill positions.

That’s why, they say, it’s so much easier to outsource the jobs to India where often workers are more educated and more plentiful.

I commend AT&T for continuing to stick with their resolution to bring those jobs back to the United States when it seems like it would be so much easier - and cheaper - to keep those jobs in India. It shows a strong commitment to the American economy and the American workforce.

Donald J. Trump is Chairman of The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.

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[-] Posted by Business 2000 on 04/29/2008 2:14 PM
We agree that there are commited to our U.S. working economy. However, what kind of paying jobs are offered and who is training the workers? Maybe, that is where they are lacking the skills to target market. And train.

We know many will be looking for new jobs...if that ful is time or part-time employment. What are the age restrictions in their offered employment positions?.... Most, that dont have work will seek employment. In this economy...the answer is yes. And others want more security if this is a short or long term phase of AT &T.; What are their targets.

We do say thank you to AT & T for sticking up for America workers...hope it works out! and we hope more big Companies inspire new is going to be a tough economy for awhile.

Thank you At &T;!
[-] Posted by about to erase it all hope you made a copy on 04/29/2008 6:56 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Dear DT

If A.T&T; is not able to find skilled workers in America they are not looking very hard- the problem is that people will work for less elsewhere, the cost of being in business here is outrageous, and this drives companies to outsource to find those "more educated" workers out of the country.

They will, and do not mind taking a job from a company like AT&T; because it gives them stablity. The cost of doing business here needs to get downsized so that we have a sensible idea of what is in the "price range" and what is just outragous!

Take the Virgin Airline concept for example, they are providing execlent service for a sensible price! When more USA companies take down the over inflated prices that goudge the people it will make it possible for the American worker to take the jobs back from the places we have them outsourced to now!

The American businessman and woman have made it big in this country on a elevator that can only go so high, because we can all get off, and get on the global express train and get what we want for less, including labor, and human capitial- that is educated.

Here in this country we are more likley to interfere with the progress of someone trying to achieve higher education and find someway to exploit a scholar, then we are to advance them and reward them- this concept of education is valued and treasured in other parts of the world it seems. Higher education has another sort of value to the population of India and China- because they understand the lasting value it has to the country to have even one educated person.

My experience in trying to overcome my barriers to obtain a higher education is evidence that we could care less in this country about the true value of a educated population- and that is why we have the problem- its not because educated people are not here, its because we are enslaved in one way or another- it’s a business decision to hire a educated person who does not have to overcome the battles of civil court reform, social injustice, and poverty, and just show up ready to deliver the education! The problems with this issue seem to be our social construction of the reality of what a treasure a educated man or woman may be to our country- re-thinking that policy is a good place to start- Men are often afraid to let stay home wives get an education or advance because this makes them feel "threatened" and women often have to pick- we are not senible about a lot of our social ideas in America!
[-] Posted by about to erase it all hope you made a copy on 04/29/2008 7:07 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Our economy revolves around fuel, not the ideology of putting forth an educated human population – we reserve this for the few.

If At&T; wants to turn this around they should team up with Microsoft and re-train the American worker and within 5-10 years we would have a hybrid that would take the world by storm!

It is hard to compete with a hybrid- take your skilled tradesmen and stay home mothers and team them up with companies that are outsourcing and CREATE the AMERICAN hybrid that would be real hard to beat!

EVEN if we continue to revolve around fuel, at least the cognitive skills would improve and we could begin to imagine revolving around something else! When people can afford to be educated, and when we have to, we will be! When we get rid of the idea that an education is some kind of threat, we will begin to get in the game and on that day we will WIN every match!
By the way- have a great day-
Tam Tam
Tough on TRADE !
[-] Posted by E. Rizzo on 04/29/2008 9:10 PM
This is very encouraging to know. If a lot of these big corporations would have been a little more forward thinking, they would have realized that their decision to outsource to India and other overseas markets would not produce a favorable outcome.

I've gone through a few changes and set-backs over the past year and a half, and was forced to get a customer service job, due to my current living situation and logistics. It felt more like a prison sentence in the beginning, but, I am making the best of the situation, thinking positively, and, now, enjoy my time at work - as much as I can, under the circumstances.

Instead of just going to work, doing my time, and getting a paycheck, I have decided to compile a report for the corporation - suggestions for improvement in customer service - a view from the inside. I know a Harvard Business School grad, an in-law of my brother's, who gets paid six figures to do what I'm doing for free. Why am I doing this? I'm doing it because there are several things that need to be addressed...things that the higher-ups would never hear about, otherwise. Even if they were to improve upon a few things, due to my suggestions (information I've gathered from my own experience, and, from concerns that other agents complain about, over and over again - as well as recurring customer complaints), it will make my job a lot more enjoyable. And, if they don't use my suggestions, that's their business...and their loss, as far as I'm concerned.

I'll go get a job at AT&T; if things don't improve at *&#@!+$. Same job, different product. Thanks, Mr. Trump, for the head's up.

Yesterday, I was speaking to a customer who was so relieved to be speaking to someone in the United States. He told me that he did his taxes, on-line, through Turbo Tax...had a few problems...had to speak to a customer service agent - the agent was in India. Now, that's a little scary, isn't it? India has Americans' Social Security numbers and tax return information in their possession. Who knows what they might be doing with that information. I'm not saying that they are doing anything with it...but, why just hand over that information?

Those major corporations who did so much outsourcing were looking at the bottom line... which bottom line? A quarterly...annual bottom line? How about the cumulative bottom line for a ten year span? How about that bottom line? Outsource jobs that Americans could be doing, and, at the same time...give them all kinds of vital American information. Why do you think they were doing it so cheaply? So, we couldn't refuse! So many big corporations are so damn greedy, that they could care less about the long term damage they are doing to America. They don't care. They have enough money that they can move to a tropical island on a yacht if America is obliterated. What do they care?

I just hope that more companies will follow suit, and get the jobs back to America. Customer service jobs are great for the older set, as well. Who says older people can't learn how to use computers. Of course they can. We just need patient people to teach them, and encourage them. They shrivel up and die because people figure that just because someone is old, that they are no longer useful. That is so wrong... they are usually more disciplined and more polite than young people...and, they have so much wisdom to share with younger people...if people would just listen!

I know that there are watchdogs out there...just waiting for corporations to screw up so they can sue them for SEC violations. Guess who makes out in those situations? The lawyers and their contacts/consultants who investigate the companies. How is that helping the world? That is another reason that I am doing what I'm doing. These major litigation firms act as if they are saving the world from hardened white collar criminals - in some cases they are. But, they make insane amounts of money doing it...which, to me, is criminal.
[-] Posted by member1385680 on 04/29/2008 10:04 PM
Its good to hear that corporations are trying to find ways to revive the economy.
Bring home jobs would mean less spending overseas,
However, are americans equipped to take on the challenge and be as competant?
Its a big question, this one.
People would have to learn things from scratch and it could mean further spending on training and knowledge transfer.
Sometimes it takes studies and surveys to be conducted before making any critical decisions.

Prince Dudley,
Systems Engineer
[-] Posted by u266082 on 04/29/2008 10:32 PM
I am saddened as a teacher to hear that at&t;™ has trouble finding educated applicants or skilled workers among us in the United States. I am more saddened by students who sit in my class and refuse to their assignments, who disrespect their parents and do not care if they fail. They do not understand the consequences to their personal future, much more the concept of "out-sourcing." In fact some of my students brag on how hard working their ethnic related immigrants are, but in the same conversation, they say they do not want to work that hard. I guess they feel there is no need to work hard when their hard working parents provide every thing from designer clothes to electronic devices for them. Some just want to be "gangstas." I get emotional and show them passion that they do not comprehend. So sometimes, I feel like I am hitting my head against a wall. And by this time of the school year, I can see what their final grade will be and give up on them until next year starts again. Some I will see again because fortunately I work for a district that does not let the students promote to the next grade level until they have successfully completed their current grade level requirements. The buck has to stop somewhere. If out sourcing is a natural consequence of an under educated society, so be it. I just hope and work hard to get the pendelum to return before the price we pay cost us more than outsourcing.
[-] Posted by *Gopi* 'Where Quality becomes Reality' on 04/30/2008 2:13 AM
''Back to source''-backsourcing. New economy trend.

Outsourcing in nature:

Banana tree: ''Apple, my apple, would You like to produce bananas for Croatia?''
Apple tree: ''Oh, yes, that is a good trade! I will not produce apples but bananas.''
Olive tree: ''Well I think that it would be great for me to produce bananas also!!!''

Ina Matijevic
[-] Posted by Roberts Staltmanis on 04/30/2008 3:22 AM
I think AT&T; should use both - American and Indian workers. If they can fill only for example 1000 places with Americans they should feel free to fill rest of the places with workforce from India. There is nothing bad in outsourcing these positions. 1000 skilled employies will be enough to gain commitment.
[-] Posted by about to erase it all hope you made a copy on 04/30/2008 9:27 AM
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In this video

We see a scientific hypothesis that is OUT OF THIS WORLD literally!

We see a experiment proposed where a partial is sent into a black hole that we predict have magnetic fields that are like a spiral. Now then using a creative imagination a scientist decided to design an experiment to direct partials past this hole along the magnetic field to see if once on the other side the "line" in which it travels along would be straight or radical. In the video you can see the particle when directed comes out along the base of the magnetic field and the velocity can be predicable and it travels at a remarkable speed and more to the point its direction is remarkably straight.

So I showed this video to my husband who is an electrician, and he brought this into his "construction of reality". He said, "what about the core of the earth?" "Its molten lava" I replied. He continued, "Well if we could send the water down there, and just run the wires back up to the surface, and create batteries or cells to hold the energy the whole world could have affordable power".

When you take the skilled tradesmen and ask them to solve the problems of the world they are likely to give you a good idea, the problem is we are sending them out into the world everyday to keep up with the price of gas, and keep bread at the rising cost on our tables!

This is a perfect example where if this man had access to the tools education would deliver; he would be able to deliver back to us the "hybrid" American worker, and the "hybrid" ideology that I predict is possible. In my opinion it is a question of inspiring the skilled tradesmen, then matching them up with laptops where they have access to mentors and education to bring them up and out of the black hole we are presently in.
This is the concept of Empowerment, applied to the social construction of reality we presently find ourselves in.

I bring this to the conversation, because it must be brought up. Teachers have told us for years what one is here saying, what are we doing to inspire the creative imagination, and to bring value to the concept of education? My husband is a classic example, where a degree would have taken him very far, but because there are so few people that will ever believe that once your past a certian age, there is no use to put money into the process of education or re-training, we are ending up with a lot of people who can not do what companies need from them once their bodies will not allow them to anymore.

Teachers have a tough job, but the real work is in every home- if a kid can see mom and dad placing value and getting rewarded for thinking out of the box, then they will do it also- because no matter how much kids want to hate grown ups, we are showing them be default who to be. If we don't think out of the box, they won't either. If we are screaming raging idiots with social bias running in our veins, they will be by default. If we care about education, and social policy, and concern our lives with free trade zones, they will think of a better way to do it!
Kids love to be smarter than us, we should take full advantage of that- they love to show their parents that they know something, and if we have them in homes and schools where this energy is cultivated we will never see another American job or company leave America, because we will have the best ideas, and most creative thinking people RIGHT HERE!
By default, those countries will have to come to us (in theory) and this is security for our children! It begins with us!
[-] Posted by member1750184 on 04/30/2008 10:31 AM
Perhaps this is a case for US immigration and an education system that prepares people for the changing working force at all levels of employment.

Also, there are many small communities and rural towns across the US who would welcome jobs from AT&T.; Perhaps with technology, people in these towns could work remote. Many small comunities have Business Industry Development Corporations that will have seed money for new business.

Also an AT&T; joint venture with small community colleges across the nation might provide a pool of talent. Let's not forget, there are many retirees looking for jobs who have a great work ethic.

Jessica Bond
Medical Careerist
[-] Posted by Avish on 04/30/2008 11:36 AM
Very nice post but..I beg to differ in what you say : "bring those jobs back to the United States"

This is Globalisation. In fact, a company that looks forward to expanding itself and reaching new heights must always look for the best employees they can get. There should be no constraint of nationality or anything of that sort.
The South Asians are specifically good at technical things like Mathematics and IT, not to mention they are dedicated people who labor very hard.

Placing weaker Americans for jobs that could have had stronger foreigners is always a big mistake in the long run. NOT ONLY FOR THE INDUSTRY BUT ALSO FOR THE ECONOMY AS A WHOLE. A temporary solution to reduce joblessness in a nation with this step could degrade the entire industry.
If we take such things for granted and have a 'quota' scheme for American Nationals, there is a chance that less competitive people get the job too.

"Jobs for our people only and investment in our nation by our people only" is a failed concept, time has proved. India saw massive growth, following a replacement of the past Socialistic Government that charged excessive tax to foreign investors by a new OPEN system that allowed Foreign Direct Investment to proceed as smoothly as the Domestic Investments.

We live in a modern world that has somewhat turned into one small global village. Minusing one ethnic community, nationality or anything of that sort would prove detrimental! The world today is, in a way, more like a common nation with small communes of "ideas".

Don't you think so?

Avish from Nepal
[-] Posted by E. Rizzo on 04/30/2008 1:47 PM
We need to raise the bar, and have more confidence in Americans and their ability to learn. Training for a customer service job is not that intensive...and, it is an on-going process. The most crucial part of the job is "soft skills," on the phone...the ability to communicate with people in a polite and effective manner. Other than that, it's just a matter of training the workers to know the companies systems and guidelines. I was trained in three weeks for the job that I'm now doing. After two, 40-hr weeks of learning the product, and computer processes...we were thrown on the phones...taking actual calls, but we had trainers there to answer any questions that we had. Personally, I think that the training could have lasted another week or two, but, I figured it out. Americans are smart! We just have to have confidence in them. If you're constantly second-guessing and underestimating a person's intelligence, they are less apt to perform to capacity. If you have bosses who believe in feel that you can do anything!

The company that I work for, is actually an outsource unit (a conglomerate from India), and they provide workers for AT&T; in the same building. So, there is still a foreign middle man, but, at least the workers are American. The downside of that is that we are not paid as much as the *&$@!#^ & AT&T; direct workers, and we do not reap the same benefits. Apparently, it's more cost effective for *@$!#%^ & AT&T; to pay an outsource company, than, to hire the workers directly. But, is it...really? Long term, I don't think that it is. It's as if they don't want to invest in workers. There must be some type of tax benefit for outsourcing. You can read all about outsourcing in the book, "The World is Flat," (I believe that is the name of it).

Companies who outsource don't care about the workers...workers are numbers...a barcode...warm bodies. They tried eliminating customer service workers with automated systems, but, they found out how counterproductive that was, as well.

If these CEO's, like the new CEO of Sprint...Dan, would treat people the way they would like to be treated, they would get much better results. I saw the Sprint PCS commercial, with Dan and his new simplified plan...that's awesome! Keep it Simple! CEO's try to complicate everything to make themselves seem invaluable...they speak their own language that nobody else understands. As far as I'm concerned, their talking a lot of jibberish. Basically, what they are doing is thinking up ways to nickel and dime consumers to death! The old bait and switch is another fun one that they all seem to enjoy so much! We're not as stupid as they think...we know exactly what they are doing. I talk to intelligent consumers every day! They know exactly what my company is doing...but, because there are few options, they're stuck - or, forced to do without the service, altogether. It's like utilities and gas... the American government is the biggest thieving Corporation of all.

Is this democracy really better than British rule? Not yet...that's for sure. I understand that we are a young country, so we are going through growing pains. But, let's stop this nonsense, already! C'mon, America! Grow up! Stop being spoiled brat, lazy slugs! Just because someone in your family worked their fingers to the bone, doesn't mean you can now sit back on your laurels and play video games. I know that parents who had to struggle want things better for their kids...but, spoiling them with all of the things that you didn't have...creates lazy, worthless people. Yeah, I said it... if a person sits on his ass all day, watching t.v. and playing video games, as far as I'm concerned he is a waste of space.

I come from a family with a big military, I cannot tolerate losers! There were also farmers, and migrant workers in my family. Does that mean that I shouldn't have to work? Retarded mentality.
[-] Posted by member1791173 on 04/30/2008 7:20 PM
Dear Mr. Trump: I am a skilled professional with little work available in MI in my surrounding area. I have limited mobility (vehicle that I share with others). I have moved out of state and find myself coming home to West MI. I appreciate your views and for posting the claim AT&T; makes. Ironically the only work I have is as a Cold Lead for a competitor of AT&T; here in W MI. Tell me this? How are we to find these jobs/openings in the area of W MI? Are they bringing the jobs local around the USA or just in the big cities of America? I have never seen any CSR positions open in MI without heading to the East side of the state which is 3.5 hours from where we live 1.5 miles from beautiful Lake MI.
Another question for you? How does one go about getting a co-signer for a duplex the landowner is offering to us as a condo if we can get financing in less than one month. We were just notified this past Monday, April 28th 2008 the day I was at the hospital for out patient procedures. We share a duplex so we are not HOMELESS. One 27 year old lost his 4.5 year position as a CNC Machinist here in Ottawa County and lost his good credit. My daughter lost a job last year and her apartment and she has moved in with us. I would of have been homeless if the same 27 year old had not offered me to share a home with him after I struck three trees on my way to work (experiencing an out of body experience in a near fatal car accident May 18, 2005 on my way to a government [US Postal Service] job at 5:40 a.m.). I lost a condo I was sharing with two others in another town. My daughter (22) is now experiencing a high risk (4th Month pregnancy) and must see doctors regularly in GR. She waitresses and goes back to school this May 19th 2008. The 27 year old lost his job by being replaced with migrant workers getting trained on first shift and taking over the second shift people who are almost at top rate in their job classification. Not only do jobs leave the country there are plenty of illegal immigrants and migrant workers to take our jobs from us.
Seriously I have moved 69 times in my life since birth. I am not a lucky person but a very blessed person to be alive. I was born 8/8/58 at 8:30 p.m. and have a compressed spine due to the accident losing inches from my body frame. I feel Customer Service in America has went downhill since the 1970's. I would love to be a part of a corporation to train others how to effectively listen and help others. Serving others is my expertise!
Please serve me in answering how one of my status who requires a co-signer can get one under some of the circumstances I have explained above.
Please help me Mr. Trump I have prayed since Monday night and I got an idea or a nudge to write you. I do not know how to reach you otherwise.
If I do not get financing by May 30th we must all move out by June 30th 2008 with no where to go. We are not alone in the housing problems/job market here in West MI. My other daughter had her father co-sign an apartment for her or she would be homeless after losing her home to foreclosure after the shop she worked at here in W MI closed down.
Thanks for any and all input. Peace. Thanks in advance for taking time to read my request for help/advice. Most Sincerely, AvaEvon
[-] Posted by member1797265 on 05/14/2008 12:06 PM
Mr.Trump, AT&T; says it is hard to find skilled U.S. workers and you say "I commend AT&T; for continuing to stick with their resolution to bring those jobs back to the United States when it seems like it would be so much easier - and cheaper - to keep those jobs in India. It shows a strong commitment to the American economy and the American workforce," at least part of these statements are true. And you have given the answer to why AT&T; finds it hard to find workers.

Understanding the capitalistic views and mentality and knowing the technological world that is forever evolving, I myself cannot say I disagree with you nor AT&T.; Our economy being in a recessive situation does make it easier for AT&T; to keep outcourcing and I must applaud them for making such efforts to maintain their promise. However, AT&T;'s clam is more of an excuse due in part to the economic situation the country is facing.

It cannot be hard to find the employees that were laid-off and already skiiled at working for the company. Many have probably returned to school to improve themselves or to study another venue of business, so what shortage of skills are they claiming? I would hope we are not saying that our educational system lacks in comparison to other countries so that we do not have enough capable, intelligent people to manage the work needed to keep AT&T; a successful corporation. In Addition, no matter how much education one receives, a company would exercise trianing new personnel in the operations of activities in which a person is hired in order to influence efficient profitablity to the company. AT&T; had to approach the foreign market of employment with the intent of educatiing and training everyone now employed, inn order to maintain an efficient and profitable company. Let's just say it as it is, they are restricting their hirinIg because it is cheaper to hire overseas, especially at this point in time.

What is hard, is trying to hire amongst a work force that is educated enough to desire higher wages, more benefits, and can unionize in an economy where inflation is at a high and the deficit is increasing. I wish AT&T; the best in trying to keep to their promise and understand that it is hard to maintain it in these economic times, but as you know Mr. Trump, and you are no stranger to this, sometimes the larger the risk, the greater the return.


Mr. V. Cruz
[-] Posted by Rachael Sutton #1253595 on 12/26/2008 6:32 PM
Wow. This one has some pretty lengthy interaction. As I see it, talk is cheap. If AT & T is really that committed to helping the American economy, they will find a way to make this happen - and quick. Isn't that what on the job training is all about? What happened to the workers they left behind when they went to India?

My guess is that they are looking for a qualified workforce in the wrong places or they are not offering the right compensation and incentives to draw the right workers. A problem like they describe doesn't happen overnight. Where were they when the tech institutes and colleges were teaching potential workers? Why aren't they partnering with high schools and universities to build our workforce? This goes back to the half empty or half full glass. They will find what they look for. So why are they looking for problems instead of solutions?
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