Chapter 5. Local Community Capacity Sector

 Local Community Capacity Employment Sector

As we leave the Industrial & Service/consumer economy and recognize the bridge created by the Knowledge/Service economy it allows us to emerge fully into an Integrative Economy. In doing this, one of the biggest shifts is going to be in the employment sectors that we pay people to work in. This makes sense because as less and less manufacturing businesses employ people the inevitable result will be continued rising unemployment. Matched with a downshift in consumption, this cycle of less consumption, less manufacturing will spread beyond the United States and impact the global economy. The employments sectors that once loomed large and absorbed millions of people can no longer do this. But that does not mean there is no work to be done. In fact, there’s plenty of work to be done. It’s just that it is going to be significantly different work as an Integrative Economy comes fully into its own.

Service/Consumer to Integrative Economy

The first phase of the shift out of the Industrial/consumer economy saw the United States shipping its manufacturing overseas while consumption continued at high levels. This was done to maintain high profits levels by using cheap labor to compensate for the increasing production costs (connected to oil). But by 2008, even the Service/Consumer economy was under stress and the Knowledge/Service economy was establishing itself as the new driver. Unknown to most people, the shift to an Integrative Economy had begun. Consumption was downshifting, the last of the old style manufacturing businesses in the US were collapsing into much smaller versions (if available at all) and the attempt to move consumption to a ‘green’ economy was simply a way to delay the inevitable. Hitting the wall, by 2013 we find 15-25 million unemployed and confusion reigns as to how to jump-start the economy and get people back to work. It is becoming apparent to many that we cannot consume our way out any longer—it is time to fully invest in an Integrative Economy.

This new economy will be much more about businesses that focus on high level thinking/creative services. It will be dependent on the quality of the humans in it—people who know how to think autonomously and build strong relationship networks. It will be education, medicine, entertainment, financial/insurance services, arts, entertainment, hospitality, technology innovations and other businesses that foster a high quality of life for us all that will replace the Industrial & Service/consumer economy. And perhaps replace is not the right word—an Integrative Economy will actually include and transform much of what was developed in the Industrial & Service/consumer economy (as well as the Agricultural economy) as it also expands beyond what any of them offered.

The infrastructure to solidly support an Integrative economy needs to be invested in—just as we did in the early 1900s at the start of the Industrial/consumer economy. This chapter presents the case that the infrastructure for an Integrative economy will require an entirely new employment sector investment because without this, the transition to this next economy will languish unnecessarily. While much of this work is already in the pipeline, it has never been formerly recognized and measured on par with the market, government or illegal sectors. By recognizing it as a new employment sector equal to the market, government or illegal sectors, Local Community Capacity (LCC)—which includes Human Capacity Development, Volunteer Services and Natural environment integration—takes its place in an Integrative economy This enables us to invest in and continue to fund this growing employment sector year in and year out. This will be to the benefit of all sectors because as we increase employment in the LCC sector, markets and government sectors which are currently shrinking can now stabilize. (We might also flatter ourselves to think that as Local Community Capacity, sector grows—the Illegal sector just might shrink!)

As the industrial economy moved into full force in the early 1900s, investment into new businesses that were needed to support the infrastructure of an industrial economy—transportation such as railroads, road systems, car and truck manufacturing, steel and oil were made. As well, the public school system saw initial investment by the private sector (Carnegie, Rockefeller, Stanford etc.) with the recognition that workers needed more standardization of education in order to work effectively in the manufacturing businesses. The private sector wasn’t doing it for the benefit of the humans, they were doing it for the benefit of business. Working cooperatively, government and private industries infused millions into this new infrastructure because without it, the rapid rise of the Industrial economy would’ve stalled.

The same is true for an Integrative Economy—it is time for another cooperative investment into the infrastructure that is crucial for an Integrative economy. This time, it isn’t about roads and steel—it’s about people and relationships. It’s not about machines…it’s about human capacity development. Success in an Integrative Economy will require engaged humans who can think autonomously, bring new ideas forward and develop strong relationships skills that foster cooperative networks.

The human potential is the powerful driver that will fuel the development of the most innovative, vibrant economy ever. But unless we expect to employ only a minor portion of humans—the lucky few who receive the best in early childhood care as a result of being born in exceptional circumstances, we will need to invest in businesses that will enable the fostering of the human capacity.

Within the LCC employment sector, in this chapter, let’s look more deeply into Local Human Capacity Development (LHCD) as a distinct employment option. This will entail the hiring of “Human Capacity Development professionals” working within their local communities. The LHCD is new and different because it is paying for people who work to provide the human capacity development work at the professional level which is necessary to ensure each child reaches full potential—whatever that may be for that child. This isn’t paying people to parent—that is a separate role that will continue within one’s private domain. Instead, the Local Human Capacity development is considered a vital component of the economic map. It is unique enough of an employment area to stand on its own, to be considered an economic necessity that allows us to measure and monetize it.

The focus of the LHCD is on the hiring, training and managing of Human Capacity Development professionals (HCDPs). HCDPs work as a network within their community to foster healthy, whole and dynamic children who will be capable of entering an Integrative Economy. It is essentially recognizing that the economy can’t thrive if children within a local community are not provided the highest level of care and development. Much like investing in roads so trucks could bring products to market, investing in the LHCD so humans will be able to bring creative ideas and service to market is what is now needed.

Human Capacity Development essentially recognizes that to reach full capacity as a human being requires development. It doesn’t just happen simply because you’re born. Humans have the longest childhood development of any species on this planet and that’s because what it takes to be fully human has to be fostered for almost 24 years if we hope to maximize our potential to be human. This is in stark contrast to a salamander which takes about 24 hours or a cat which takes about 6 weeks, or a dolphin which takes about 1-3 years. Becoming fully human takes time and great care.

And there-in lies the challenge—time and care. Who is going to put it in time and what is the quality of that care so that reaching full human potential becomes realized? As it stands today, the answer to the ‘who’ question is generally parents. The answer to the ‘quality of care’ however ranges from neglectful/abusive to average to great. In other words, it’s a crapshoot as to what you get. Frankly salamanders, cats and dolphins generally have a better shot at becoming fully salamandered, catatized or dolphinated than humans have at becoming fully human.

Right now, there are 3 employment sectors—markets, government or illegal—where one can secure the funds for living life. The majority of human capacity development work falls outside these three sectors. Stay-at-home parents do not receive compensation for this work. At best, a parent can drop off a child at a day care business and pay for this service, but this generally requires the parent to seek employment in another business to pay for this service by someone other than themselves.

And perhaps this worked adequately for the Industrial & Service/consumer economy because the need for Human capacity development was significantly less than what will be needed for an Integrative Economy. But it won’t work effectively for the future. It is time for us to expand and pay for human capacity development professionals to do this vital work. This sector is neither traditional markets nor traditional government sector—it is found, as we’ve said before, in the ‘shadow sector’ of the non-profit arena that serves both markets and government sectors needs. It can’t stay in the shadows any more. Just as the private sector invested in schools in the early 1900s as a need for the emerging Industrial economy, so too will markets and government encourage the creation of the Local Community Capacity (LCC) employment sector as a need for the emerging Integrative economy. Once LCC is implemented, Local Human Capacity Development becomes an active option for employment for millions.

The rational for shifting at this time is several fold:

• Unemployment. As the Industrial & Service/consumer economy winds down, the need for this new employment sector is necessary for providing employment to compensate for the staggering losses from the old economy. Many of the 15-25 million unemployed could be transitioned into this new employment arena. This could employ men and woman—obviously those of child-bearing age, but others will be tapped for management roles and this could employ middle and upper management people who can no longer work in the old economy. Human Capacity Development is one of the new ‘industries’ of an Integrative Economy and millions will work here.

• Quality of care. While certainly there are very good day-care providers out there, the high rates of turnover, lack of consistency, lack of training and development of many day-care providers make for less than optimal circumstances. By paying for Human capacity development professionals, we reduce turnover, we increase consistency, we ensure training and development of all professionals and the network support further secures the quality of the work to be done.

• Environmental benefits. Working within the home, millions of daily car commutes will be eliminated. As has been shown, for example, in China, where air pollution due to cars is a significant problem both environmentally and on health levels—during the Beijing Olympics, Chinese citizens were paid to stay home and avoid their commutes. Air quality improved dramatically during this time. Obviously the ripple effect of pulling millions of cars off the freeway at rush hour will last more than two weeks, thus, air quality will continue to improve, carbon emissions will be reduced, global warming will be addressed and needs for caring for roads-new lanes, repair, etc. will be lessened. This will also lead to a reduction in oil demands and at the same time, encourage walkable communities as the Local Human capacity sector provides the time, opportunity and demand for being actively engaged in one’s local community surroundings.

• Social support. Because we don’t pay significant salaries for child-development, we have to admit—we get what we pay for. The result is far too many children never achieving their potential, many needing significant social services to ameliorate the lack of good child development. And of course, eventually they grow up and become adults who need more services too. We pay in the billions for this fix it after its broke system. Much of this work could be switched to the far more powerful and positive outcomes by employing human capacity development employees within the home.

• Health care prevention. With obesity and Type II diabetes becoming a ticking time bomb set to explode in the next 30 years, one of the benefits of the LHC is that a prevention lifestyle will be a cornerstone of the work done by the HCDPs both for their children and themselves.

• Elderly services demand. As the boomer generation ages, the need for care will inevitably rise. Right now, there is great concern for who will provide this care, how seniors will pay for it and how this will impact the current generation. But within the LHC—HCDP work will also include working with seniors and children and/or adults with disabilities within the home. Many seniors could remain in their original homes if they are within the local community, or, now with HCDPs working in the home, could provide care for their aging parents in that home and as part of the network. Thus, we enable a multi-generational capacity of the community. Some of these seniors will be able to add to and support the HCDP, in other cases, the HCDP will be aiding and supporting the senior and on both levels, children will be experiencing this multi-generational option. As a social safety network, as a way to address the strains on the economy by the retiring boomer generation on the next generation and as a way to foster strong communities, building the Local Human Capacity sector makes tremendous sense.

The time is now.

Let’s launch an investment into the infrastructure needs of an Integrative Economy. Let’s begin investing in the LCC sector through the LHC arena by hiring Human Capacity Development professionals to foster the next generation to their optimal capacity, to care for seniors and those with disabilities within their community as part of the local community network and let’s build a thriving economy that provides a quality of life unimagined before now.