Our fellow Rotarian Julie of Sinclair College gave us some insight into Generation Z, the young people born between 1995 and 2010, the kids who are now in high school and college and ready to enter the workforce.
In working with the students at Sinclair, Julie sees that these young people are different from previous generations. This generation has grown up with technology. They have always been connected. They also have never known a world without the threat of school shootings and terrorism, having grown up after Columbine and 9-11. These young people are more diverse and more accepting.
They are also quite realistic and entrepreneurial. They embrace causes, such as the banning of straws. Technology exposes them to tragedies around the world, and they are compassionate. The Gen Z workers are still looking for structure and prefer texting over email.
In a job, they want security, like to work independently, and are good at multi-tasking. They prefer to discuss things face to face, rather than online.
Joe Schroeder of the United Way told us a little about their workforce initiatives that are being introduced in to local High Schools including job shadowing with local companies to get a feel for what kind of opportunities are available, especially for those that may wish to learn and progress within a company rather that a college degree. There is a shortage of skilled workers, and companies offer career pathways, because these young people don’t want “entry level.” They want to build a secure future.
(Just for reference:
Baby boomers – 1946-64
Generation X – 1961-81
Millennials – 1981-96
Generation Z – 1996-2010.)