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Working with Generation Y

by Alan Ekblad and Timothy Hathaway
September/October 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/working-with-generation-y/5019590/

The new groove is entering the workforce now! Generation Y's 32 million U.S. workers will increase to approximately 21% of the workforce in the next 3 years. In a child care and early education industry dominated by young workers, that means Generation Y-ers (16-30 year olds) are members of your staff.

• Are you working to move them professionally forward or does it feel like you are fighting with your teenager about cleaning his or her room?

• How can we engage young workers' interests, knowledge, and skills to greater effect?

• How can the early childhood community successfully support professional development in this dynamic workforce?

In a recent survey by Lee Hecht Harrison (2005), a leading workforce development firm, more than 60% of employers say they are experiencing tension between employees from different generations and more than 70% of older employees are dismissive of younger workers' abilities. Much of the tension occurs when Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X-ers (born between 1967 and 1984) perceive Gen Y-ers' vibes as lack of commitment to the job, unreal expectations for advancement, or attitudes that reflect, "I'm not going to give this 100%." For us lifers in early education, that sounds ...

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