Jobs and the Economy
Lost in the most recent unemployment report and the election debates about the state of our job market is the fact that more than three million good-paying, American jobs currently are unfilled in large and small employers across the country. While competition for so-called white- and blue-collar jobs is fierce – with candidates far outnumbering available positions – employers covering every segment of our economy are struggling to find Americans equipped with the skills and competencies needed to perform “middle-skills” jobs.
In fact, the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University projects that by 2018 nearly two-thirds of the job openings in the U.S. will require a degree of training. And in a recent poll of U.S. companies, not only did employers cite the inability to find qualified workers as the biggest obstacle to growth, but forty percent of respondents said they were being held back by the skills gap, compared with just thirteen percent by lack of demand.
The long term forecast is clear – if America wants to remain competitive in the global economy, we must expand our supply of middle- and high-skill workers by building the necessary education and jobs training pipelines that convert the potential in young adults today to the job market of today and tomorrow.
Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush
Our Shared Plan of action recognizes that not everyone will pursue a bachelor’s degree right after high school, and combines local actions with steps the business community can take, and suggestions for policymakers at every level of government.We invite you to learn more about the Shared Plan and find out how you can become part of the effort to ensure that there is an army of Americans equipped with the skills needed to fill available jobs today and the growing demand of middle-skills jobs in the future.
Marcia Anderson, General, US Army