A child plays with DNA blocks.

A child plays with DNA blocks. Credit: iStock

Joseph Cabral is mistaken about the dearth of people on Long Island with science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, skills . While his own company -- North Shore-LIJ Health System -- might be hiring, the fact is, STEM-related jobs are being outsourced overseas. An engineer in India makes what a fast-food employee earns in New York.

I have a number of friends with multiple university degrees and years of experience in fields like engineering, computer science and geology. Some of these people have been unemployed for a few years, are on welfare, and can't even land a job bagging groceries at the local supermarket because they are deemed "overqualified" by store managers. They'd have been better off if they dropped out of high school 35 years ago and stuck with their after-school job making French fries. Maybe today they'd own a franchise or work as executives in the McDonald's Corp. instead of living in poverty.

My friends are discovering that the whole "land of opportunity" thing means as much about America in 2013 as a rerun of "Leave It to Beaver." I don't know what to do about their problems -- although North Shore-LIJ seems to be mitigating the situation -- but I do know what most of our young people, including my first-grader, need to do after college: Seek job opportunities and citizenship overseas in developing countries with high demand for STEM-skilled people.

Paul Manton, Levittown

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