Workforce development covers a broad spectrum. It incorporates education, training, and creating opportunities for people to learn skills that will provide a means for employment. So, why is this essential? This is essential because employers are finding it difficult to fill positions.
Across the country, employers are struggling to fill positions for machinists, radiology technicians and software developers—jobs that range from middle skill to high skill. The U.S. economy will create more than 16 million good-paying jobs through 2024 that do not require a bachelor’s degree.
These positions require middle to high level skills that can be taught beginning in high school. The idea of having to go to college to learn these skills, or that you have to go to college to get a job are common themes that have traditionally gone unchallenged. There are alternative options that can lead to success. What is evident is that we are lacking in the areas of Technology and STEM competencies. We are also in need of people who posses problem solving and critical thinking skills. Improving our workforce might begin with changing how we view preparing our youth, not just currently, but for the future needs of employers. It is good to know that there is an industry that will provide opportunities for a career, but if we are not addressing the demand for the required skill sets, then the problem will get worse.
Post by Sterling Gill, III