VentureGSO: All heart but lost the way

Sue pointed out that VentureGSO is on its way, today. I have known about this Action Greensboro, Greensboro Public Library and RF Micro Devices partnership for a while now. And it won’t work. Why? The heart is there, but everything seems to be going forward for the wrong reasons.

Now first a disclaimer. I am part of Action Greensboro, SynerG, and all of the other initiatives and I love what they do. Why am I against this venture? Because this isn’t how to create more jobs although this is what people say it’s all about.
When you first go to the VentureGSO site and go to the students section you see Jerry Neal’s book. This seems to me a publicity stunt to sell his book more than help the city.

  1. The competitions include writing assignments based on the book Fire In The Belly: Building A World-Leading High-Tech Company From Scratch In Tumultuous Times by one of RF Micro Devices’ founders, Jerry Neal and co-authored by Jerry Bledsoe,…
    You don’t find anything wrong with this? RF Micro is a engineering firm that happens to be in business with my employer. Yet, the written competition isn’t based on entrepeneurship or how to market a product. It’s based on Jerry’s book. No offense to you Jerry, but look at it from a third party and tell me it doesn’t look like a book signing rather than job improvement. Okay, moving on.
  2. …and performance of entrepreneurial tasks, much like those seen in the popular TV show, The Apprentice.
    Of all the shows to copy, Trump’s is not one of them. Entrepeneurship might be about taking risks, but it’s not about taking the type that Trump takes. What about doing an engineering competition with a budget and how to build useful things? How about doing things such as RoboCup to push people to think outside the box about robotics, or even how to achieve biotech through artificial skin made from a hacked textile machine? This isn’t about the show, it’s about how to get people jobs. Does “The Apprentice” actually help create jobs in a region? Not especially.

But here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

2 grand prize winners will receive paid summer internships with RF Mirco Devices. One will be awarded to the winning high school student and one to the winning college student.

mispelling of RF Micro is on part of the website here at the time of this post.
First I went ooo… then I went ahhh… then I thought.. great. I had average grades in college and I landed two paid internships my freshman year (the hardest year to get internships). Corporations that tried to woo me to their doorstep included Netscape, Sun Microsystems, the CIA, and many more. All it took was filling out applications online, and persistence in chasing after my dreams.
The problem with this is that as an engineering firm, RF Micro should be offering paid internships anyways. This isn’t something special like getting to work for Trump or having a six figure salary for a year. PAID INTERNSHIPS SHOULD BE A GIVEN when applied to technical firms. I can’t speak for non-technical firms since I have never worked for one, but training an intern is a lot cheaper than training a full-time employee for three to six months.
So if this VentureGSO project isn’t the way to get young people to stay in the Triad, what is? I’ll tell you what I said when I first graduated. “Show me the JOBS.” None of the jobs here are lit up with bright green NEON signs that scream, “TAKE ME TAKE ME!” Through friends and colleagues, I hear of technical jobs popping up here and there every so often, but as a recent graduate, there is no way to know without having the social networks in place already. The jobs must be publicized, just as Google has chased even the users in the Greensboro Linux User Group down with offerings.
There is only one single thing to do: Show those young people the jobs. Sell it to them. Make them want to stay in the area, or even come here because of this opportunity or that opportunity. Wave a signing bonus here, or a corporate facilitated living complex there (like the corporate dormitories in Japan). Show them you want them, just as much as they want you.
And they will come.