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June 18, 2014

Exploring EU solutions to skills gap

Professor to take economics tour of European hotspots

TERRE HAUTE — Reykjavik, Iceland. Rotterdam, Netherlands. Athens, Greece. Those are among the seven locations Jim Tanoos will be visiting on his international industry academic research tour this summer.

“I won’t even tell you about all the rejections,” said Tanoos, associate professor of management at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, about different international conferences to which he submitted his work.

Regardless of the rejections, he said he persevered and will be leaving June 24 from Nashville to begin his 21⁄2-week adventure.

“I’m coinciding with the World Cup intentionally,” he said. “In Europe, every day during the World Cup is like the Super Bowl here. It is very festive, there is a lot to do and everybody is in a jovial mood.”

He said the tour will have two overarching goals — to present research and to learn from other scholars at various academic conferences and to discover new research related to international industry through visiting successful multinational factories. He also said he intends on attending Rotary meetings to exchange flags from the Terre Haute Rotary Club and Masonic lodges with letters of introduction from the Grand Lodge of Indiana.

“In Indiana, a lot of the well-paid jobs in the state are coming from international industrialists,” Tanoos said. “To learn about what makes these multinational production facilities successful, the same ingredients apply to Indiana factories employing Hoosiers whose parent company is based internationally.”

He said the skills gap in Indiana manufacturing jobs results in a lot of jobs going unmet because of the lack of qualified applicants.

“It’ll be nice to go to successful international factories to look at remedies for curing these skill gaps that are happening here,” Tanoos said.

Tanoos will be keeping a blog on WordPress that will outline each location he visits. Some of the content that he will publish are location facts, industries, pictures and his experiences at the conferences.

After he returns to the U.S. from Europe, he will begin incorporating  information he collects into classes.

“Aside from scholarly articles, I’ll be integrating a lot of material into the capstone course that all students in our department take,” Tanoos said. “I can contribute to the general studies revision process from a lot of the insight I will gain.”

Aside from the scholarship side of the trip, Tanoos said he is planning on having a good time while he’s there.

“This is where some sports bars are at,” Tanoos said as he pointed to a map on his computer with arrows pointing to different places of interest. “I’ll have some down time, so I’ll enjoy what I can.”

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