Today’s high school graduates are a fascinating bunch.
Demographers describe them as conscientious, hard-working, somewhat anxious, and mindful of the future.
They’re part of Generation Z – a generation whose beginnings are placed from the early ’90s to the mid-2000s — or as the New York Times would say, they are “millennials on steroids.”
Like those millennials, the “Zees” put the value of technology right up there in importance with the air in which they breathe.
Many of the Zees do not remember a life before social media. They are the first generation that could go from kindergarten to high school with a smartphone in their hands.
Today, it is no big deal for a Zee to simultaneously create a document, edit it and post a photo on Instagram – all while talking on the phone.
But while they take in information instantaneously, the Zees lose interest just as fast.
They’re slowly getting away from Facebook, opting instead for platforms like Snapchat, Secret or Whisper, where any incriminating images disappear almost instantly.
Most of these graduates were born in 2000 when Ohio’s minimum wage was $4.25 and Clem’s Bakery in Lima was offering a dozen cookies for a penny, providing you purchased the first dozen at regular price.
History planted its seed during their lifetime.
They were babies when 9/11 shook up the world, but seemed unfazed by the War on Terror or the Great Recession that followed.
And for them, the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first African-American president was less a historic breakthrough than a fact of life.
What’s ahead for the Zees?
The only thing people know for sure is the work force will continue to experience a major shake up. The Institute for the Future predicts that more than half of the jobs that will be available in 2030 don’t exist today.
It also says the workforce will continue to change. The Institute predicts the average job tenure for Generation Z will be one to two years. That is in contrast to the Class of 1990, whose graduates will average five to 10 jobs during their lifetime, and to the class of 1970, which averaged one or two different jobs during their working career.
The good thing is the Zees have shown they can adapt. That skill will be priceless.
ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden makes way for our graduates.
Rose: To Bob and Mary Stolly, who had three grandsons graduating on Saturday. Jon Steiger, the son of Beth and Mike Steiger, received his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Cincinnati. Colin Stolly graduated from Ohio Wesleyan and his brother Brendan from Lima Central Catholic. They are the sons of Kelly and Ric Stolly.
Rose: Fort Jennings native, lifelong farmer and three-term Putnam County Commissioner Richard “Dick” Ricker, age 92, will be inducted Aug. 3 into the Ohio Agricultural Council Hall of Fame.
Thorn: Two Allen County sheriff cruisers collided last Monday while rushing to a robbery of the Family Dollar Store on Robb Avenue.
Thorn: Perry Township trustees are not explaining why they put Fire Chief Rick Phillips on paid administrative leave nor why he resigned, even though the public paid Phillips’ salary.
Thorn: Brian K. Huff, 42, of Findlay, a part time Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputy, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated in March in Hancock County.
PARTING SHOT: Don’t cry over spilled milk; by this time tomorrow, it will be free yogurt.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.