03/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Teenage Unemployment Hits 20%

With 20% of all teenagers unable to find a job it is obvious that what our children are learning in the school system is not valued in the marketplace! While our current economic contraction is causing much of the increase in unemployment amongst this age group the reality is employers do not value the skill set or work ethic of these potential workers. There is a disconnect between what is being taught in schools and what is needed and valued in the marketplace.

The basic understandings of discipline, team work, purpose, drive, contribution, doing whatever it takes, enthusiasm, appreciation for work, task completion, and communication skills are completely neglected in the schools today and have been for many years. With a 1/3 dropout rate, it is obvious that even the kids do not believe that what they are being taught will benefit them outside the classroom. While I hear so many politicians speak of their 'great concern' about what our kids will inherit, the facts are without understanding of how to work and an appreciation for work, combined with basic skills that are applicable in the real world, it will matter not what they inherit for they won't be equipped to work their way through it!

The economy is only as efficient as the workforce that makes it up! While too many jobs have been lost to other countries offering lower wages, we have also lost jobs to cultures where the workforce appears more appreciative and more willing to do whatever it takes. Go to India and China and see how motivated and shamelessly willing the individual worker is to sell, promote and market the products, services of the company or industry they work.

You don't have to look far, here at home, to see people suffering from a lack of purpose, enthusiasm, communication kills, team work, the handling of stress, multitasking, organizational skills, and the ability to complete a simple task. Heaven forbid you mention the word selling and the worker looks at you with disdain. This disconnected attitude communicates, "Give me my salary, let me do my job and whether the company actually collects revenue has nothing to do with me."

Both the current workforce and our next generations of workers must be taught real world applicable skills that can connect with the solving of problems! The worker today must transition from thinking about his job to how his/her job is connected to the creation of revenue for the solvency of the company and security of that job!

Grant Cardone, author of Sell to Survive