Editorial - Business partner needed
On the heels of a Washington Post report about an extensive shortage of Washington-area candidates for high-tech jobs, Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening proposed giving students who agree to work in areas where expertise is short a free ride through college. He's on the right track, but for this idea to work, business must join the effort as well.
The Post report noted that candidates for high-tech jobs are in such short supply in the metro area that some employers are paying what amounts to signing bonuses for candidates with the proper credentials. The pay-for-talent approach isn't without precedent. When BMW brought its new auto plant to Spartansburg,. S.C. in the early 1990s, the state not only paid for most of the workers' training, it also built a school to train them in.
Under Glendening's plan, students at four-year schools would receive $3,000 a year, while those at community colleges would get $1,000. Administration officials told The Associated Press that combining the grants with new federal tax credits would mean students would not have to pay for their college education. In return, those who got a free ride would pledge to work for Maryland companies for three years.