In the late 90s, America experienced a severe labor shortage.
In some areas of the country it became almost impossible
to fill open positions with qualified workers. I stumbled
upon a remarkable solution which had been successfully
implemented for decades, but only within a relatively narrow
niche. No one was writing about volunteer workforces at
the time, so I began actively researching and writing about
the concept. Soon a heavy-duty New York City book agent
signed me to write a book proposal which we shopped around
to the major publishing houses. Everyone turned it down.
So it was up to me to determine if there was any real interest
in the concept.
An agency which supports non-profits agreed to fund the
publication of some excerpts from the book proposal, which
they sold to their membership, and I sold on Amazon. Dallas
Morning News did a front-page story in their business section,
then CNNfn and BloombergTV invited me to NYC to introduce
their audiences to The Volunteer Workforce concept. After
the live CNNfn interview, Allan Chernoff, their chief correspondent,
grilled me for quite a while, asking additional questions.
He was amazed that CNN had never heard of volunteer workforces.
Before I left the studio that day, Allan forcefully stated
that CNN would be contacting me shortly to do a major treatment
of the subject.
the CNN building that day, back out on a hot and muggy
Manhattan street, I was thrilled with the knowledge that
the hard work and creative risk-taking on this project
were about to pay off in a gratifying and validating way.
But 39 days later, two hijacked airliners crashed into
the World Trade Center, the country instantly changed,
and the attention of the NYC media was rightfully focused
on the devastation. Within weeks the economy suffered dramatically,
and the labor shortage abruptly ended as layoffs were announced
and implemented across a broad spectrum of industries.
With so many people out of work, the time was simply no
longer right for a "hire volunteers" message.
People who study economics and labor dynamics are predicting
another acute labor shortage beginning sometime in 2006.
If that happens, I'll be ready!
Enjoy your visit to The
Volunteer Workforce website.
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