The 21st century American worker faces challenges unprecedented in his or her lifetime. The newly expanded global marketplace creates opportunities for employers to produce and sell products and services to more individuals and countries than ever before. However, the pressure of the new global economy places the burden on American employers to transform processes to be highly efficient and productive to remain competitive. Many American employers actively seek to recruit and train skilled employees worldwide who can meet their corporate need for profitability.
The American job seeker faces shifting local labor market industries, changing job titles and job descriptions, and the loss of job opportunities in many industries once seen as the backbone of the American workforce. In essence, the American worker faces the risk of being left behind and left out of the possible achievement of the American dream. The challenge of finding effective methods for increasing the skill set of the American workforce looms large and difficult. Many influences will shape the future of the American job seeker as they consider career track options. These influences include their own level of knowledge about job market opportunities and the skills required to perform these jobs; their own level of motivation to seek out training and education needed to meet the demands of the new industries; and ultimately their own level of confidence, or “self-efficacy” in their perceived abilities to succeed in high growth job industry occupations critical to the future health of the American economy and its’ citizens.