巴西最有影响力的企业和行业协会会长罗布森•布拉加•安德拉德指出，这项体育盛事的准备工作依然在全天候进行，里约热内卢和其他城市都笼罩在建设工地的灰尘之中。身为巴西能源和自动化集成系统供应商ORTENG Equipamentos e Sistemas公司总裁，安德拉德已经成为一位经验丰富的人才发掘者。像许多巴西雇主一样，他时常在国内和外国劳动力市场物色合适的工人。他说：“我们亟需工程师。”
尽管巴西自称已经实现了充分就业，起重机和推土设备在全国各地随处可见，但很多人都掉队了。据联合国和世界银行(World Bank )估计，有超过四分之一的巴西人生活在贫困线附近或贫困线上（妇女，青年和小农户是最脆弱的群体），不仅喝不上清洁水，就连污水处理和邮件传递等基本服务也无法享受。巴西现有的电力网络、通信电网、道路、轨道交通，机场和海港都严重不足，根本满足不了它当前的需要。
Brazil is in a bind. It has a wealth of natural resources and is among the most powerful industrial producers in the world, but the nation's economic growth hinges on skilled workers it doesn't have.
The country has grown fast, achieving in the past 20 years what "it took the United States to accomplish in 200 years," marvels Ambassador Thomas Shannon, who recently finished his tour as Washington's top envoy to Brasilia and now serves as a senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry.
The world's sixth largest economy, Brazil is a top exporter of farm products (sugar, coffee, oranges, beef, poultry, soy) and manufactured goods (from airplanes to vaccines) and it may join the ranks of the world's biggest oil suppliers before long.
But rapid development has far outpaced financing for quality and accessible schools that can turn out work-ready Brazilians. The result: a dearth of skills and knowledge to satisfy economic demand.
Intensifying the pressure are the escalating costs of hosting this year's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Brazil has made huge investments in stadiums and other public facilities to accommodate the millions of tourists it hopes to attract to the international games. The drawdown on public and private funds combined is expected to exceed $1 trillion.
Preparation for the two sporting events continues 24/7, with Rio and other cities blanketed in construction project dust, according to Robson Braga de Andrade, who heads Brazil's most influential business and industry association. As president of ORTENG Equipamentos e Sistemas, a Brazilian provider of integrated energy and automation systems, Andrade has become a seasoned talent scout. Like many Brazilian employers, he scours domestic and foreign labor markets for the right workers: "We are in desperate need of engineers," he says.
Despite Brazil's claims of full employment, and cranes and earthmoving equipment that dot the nation's landscape, many people have been left behind. United Nations and World Bank data estimates that more than a quarter of the country's population lives near or at the poverty line (women, youth, and small farmers are the most vulnerable) with no access to clean water, sewage treatment, or even mail delivery. And Brazil's existing power networks, communications grids, roadways, mass transit, airports, and seaports are all grossly inadequate to meet the country's current needs.
Andrade and his fellow employers want to reverse this trend. "Enrolling high school dropouts in vocational training," he says, "will prompt them to work for their diploma." Andrade oversees the national industrial training service and hopes to prepare upwards of four million trainees this year. He ticks off the many sectors -- oil, gas, civil construction, manufacturing, all inextricably linked -- stymied by skills shortages that can easily absorb millions of qualified workers.