Birth2Work

When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

B2W Radio: Getting Off the Computer to Engage for Real

B2W Radio: Getting Off the Computer to Engage for Real

Hosted By:
Elane V. Scott
Featured Guests:
Patrick R. McCluskey
Ken Collins

Dear Stakeholder Leaders,

Consistently on this program, co-host Rick Stephens and I address the needed skills set of the future workforce, both what it is and what it is not. It’s not the ability to solely regurgitate information. It’s more than the ability to execute a repetitive task all day. In fact, the workforce of the future will need a far greater toolbox to work with. Adaptability, continuous learning, integration of skills, and interpersonal communication skills (face to face, not via email or text) will be their primary tools. It’s with this definition Rick and I bring you today’s program with young entrepreneurs Patrick McCluskey and Ken Collins, co-founders of eXercisefriends.com. Neither Patrick nor Ken is a fitness expert who set out to start a healthy living forum. In fact, it was Patrick’s need to find some new people to work out with in a new city that made him realize a person could do or find just about anything on-line, except new people to work out with. With a background in business and sales and an entrepreneurial spirit, Patrick brought on Ken, a self-taught webmaster, site builder, and all around Jack of many trades, to build the initial site. It was an integration of a broad range of skills and vision that led them to fill the void.

Birth2Work tackles its issues similarly. The global workforce discussion often remains pin-pointedly focused on “getting more people in math and science” while leaving a great void in the conversation about the systemic social issues at work influencing young people’s decision making and their abilities to do the work. We assume the challenge of filling that void with engaged conversation across sector lines. Where the founders of eXercisefriends.com are like me and Rick as Birth2Work founders, is in the fundamental belief of the internet as a tool, not a substitution, for community building and ultimately human connectivity. Our success stories stem from people meeting through our respective sites with a common purpose, sharing information, then getting off the computer to affect real change in their personal lives and communities. In the early years of this country, social gatherings and central meeting places were conduits for creating a sense of community. Today, technology is a tool to help facilitate relationships, can serve communities as the central meeting place of yore, but interactions through technology must not be confused as fully developed relationships.

It’s the relationships that communities throughout our country are fighting to make happen at a local level to connect their own sectors in order to solve their wider problems. However, as we have seen first hand with our work in Danville, IL and Huntsville, AL, real progress is only made when stakeholder leaders come together and literally sit and talk in the same room together. Meetings are set up on-line, people come together to elicit change.

Elane V. Scott


Produced: 
09/09/2008
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