skill sets

Cub Pilot

Senior Member
Hello everyone,
Please help :) . What is meant by skill sets in the following context (JD Vance, "Hillbilly Elegy")
.....
Of course, the reasons poor people aren't working as much as others are complicated, and it's too easy to blame the problem on laziness. For many, part-time work is all they have access to, because the Armcos of the world are going out of business and their skill sets don't fit well in the modern economy. But whatever the reasons, the rhetoric of hard work conflicts with the reality on the ground....

I take skill sets to mean the repertoire of highly skilled abilities Armco has at its disposal.

Any support is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance:)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I interpret it to mean that many poor people don't know how to do things that are valuable in the modern economy. Perhaps they don't have good computer skills. Perhaps they lack skill at something else that employers are looking for these days.
     

    Platytude

    Member
    English - AU
    I think Armco was a steel company and, here, it's a metaphor for companies hiring people with certain outdated types of skill. As these companies are disappearing, poor people with those skills would have difficulty finding work.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    There is a question yet. Do you take skill sets to mean a group of abilities, of features and qualities or do you take them to mean a group of people with skilled abilities, in other words are they neuter/things/a term or are they persons? Please help. Thanks in advance:)
    (edited: properties => qualities)
     
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    WyomingSue

    Senior Member
    English--USA
    It is the set of skills a person has. If your skill set is cutting peat, trimming horses' hooves, and hand-splitting shingles, there's not much call for those skills in the modern high-paying economy.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The sentence is written a bit awkwardly and one reference is not perfect. "Many" is being used as a noun to stand in for "many people". All the bold, red words are references to those many people.

    - For many (people in that area), part-time work is all they have access to, because the Armcos of the world are going out of business and their skill sets don't fit well in the modern economy.

    The idea is that people with relatively low tech skills (suited to older industries) had good paying jobs at Armco. When companies like Armco disappear, there are no jobs with equivalent salary to replace the jobs that have disappeared that people with those skills would be qualified for. The high-salary full time jobs available now require different skills. So the only thing left is lower-paying part-time jobs - which they are overqualified for really.
     
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