Julian Alssid of the New-York-based Workforce Strategy Center has written an incisive op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor regarding the status and future of America’s workers. Alssid argues that we have plenty of workers to fill tomorrow’s jobs, but our workers lack the advanced skills and knowledge that those jobs require.
As of 2006, nearly half of adults over the age of 25 – approximately 90 million Americans – had no more than a high school diploma or GED. Yet 65 percent of the country’s fastest growing occupations require postsecondary education. In short, it’s not that the US doesn’t have enough jobs to go around. It’s that it doesn’t have a workforce trained to fill them. The US could close this gap if the nation made a commitment to help workers obtain two key credentials: postsecondary education and technical aptitude.
Alssid goes on to lay out seven steps for bridging the skills gap: Promote access, support students, improve transitions, involve employers, build capacity through innovation, measure results, and lead from the top.