Last week, Kevin Cassidy of the International Labor Organization gave a presentation for the Alaska World Affairs council, titled: “Global Workforce: Navigating Immigration and Labor Shortages in the Modern Era.” I was astonished to find that most seats were filled with Romig Middle School students, not business people.
Kevin Cassidy’s impressive presentation did not simplify vocabulary or talk down to the students. They listened attentively and raised hands enthusiastically and politely. Their questions mostly showed an interest and understanding of international issues.
I’d like to commend the teachers, present and past, who guide these students’ quest for knowledge that will surely impact their lives as they graduate and join the work force of the city, state, country and world. These teachers are extremely dedicated.
Despite lacking retirement benefits, Social Security — due to the Windfall Elimination Provision — and adequate state funding, they produce excellent thinkers who will understand the challenges of the changing workplaces of the future.
Our amazing students, Alaska’s future, will soon become the leading edge of a work world likely very different from the present. They deserve our support.
It’s past time for the state and city to levy taxes and offer retirement to support and retain Alaska’s teachers. Our future depends on it.
— Paula Davis
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