Jobs, jobs, jobs — and education

In Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Achieve looks at the gap between job demands and entry-level workers’ skills.

Many jobs that used to require only a high school diploma or less –- manufacturing technicians, auto mechanics, electricians and others –- now typically require some postsecondary education or certification. In addition, a quarter of American workers are now in jobs that were not even listed in the Census Bureau’s occupation codes 40 years ago.

. . . For a state or community to attract new, high-skilled industries, they need high-skilled employees – or employees who are adaptable learners with strong foundational knowledge and skills that will serve them across industries.

Unfortunately, many young people aren’t ready for college or careers. A third don’t complete high school on time; a third require remediation at two- or four-year colleges. Only a quarter of employers of recent high school graduates believe young employees are prepared for the job for which they were hired.

Despite a national unemployment rate that remains around 10%, there are about 3 million job openings across the country that cannot be filled because of a lack of skilled workers.

States need to build career and technical pathways, encourage partnerships between K-12, higher education, and the business community, and collaborate with other states on cost-effective measures, Achieve recommends.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs
ON December 14, 2010

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michael mazenko

The k-16 model is an inefficient sham. States need to pursue more Career and Technical Education, and promote the pursuit of skilled labor in associates degrees. Only 29% of the country has BA, and there’s no reason to think the country needs or could sustain more. However, skilled labor is a problem, and the nation’s education system needs to respond.

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