MAIL BAG: KNOWING HOW THE GOVERNMENT OPERATES IS IMPORTANT IF YOU’RE GOING TO SELL TO IT
Our Mail Bag letter this week comes from loyal reader T. Jefferson of Charlottesville, VA who writes, “My government contract company recently hired a new batch of college graduates. They all have impressive engineering skills, but have trouble identifying the three branches of government. Should this concern me?” Only if you need those engineers to understand the missions of federal agencies and how the government operates, T. Unfortunately, your experience may not be unusual. A May 13th Wall Street Journal article written by Sandra Day O’Conner and John Glenn states that new graduates have little idea of the basic tenets upon which our governing system are based. Among other things, the article says that the majority of new graduates cannot identify democracy as the generally agreed upon best course for the US. Yet, understanding the US system of government and how it works is a basic requirement for work at a government contractor. Unfortunately, companies may not be able to take this knowledge for granted. Resources that now go into STEM training may have to be shared with instruction on basic civics knowledge. Government contractors must have professionals with both skill sets to be successful.