What’s Really Better: Workforce Training or Four-Year College?


By Stuart Udell, CEO, K12

Graduation season is upon us. Corporate recruiters will soon be flooded with resumes from eager young people looking to land their first jobs. But their job hunt may take a while. That’s because more than half of U.S. employers surveyed say they are struggling to find qualified applicants to fill the positions they have open, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Incredibly, by 2020, there will be 55 million job openings, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce. However, the U.S. will fall short, by 5 million, of the number of workers we will need with post-secondary educations. Our nation’s persistent skills gap, or the mismatch between employers’ needs for skilled talent and the skills possessed by the available workforce, has a direct effect on the U.S. economy. Reduced productivity from unfilled jobs resulted in almost $160 billion in lost revenue in 2014, according to Indeed.com.

A workforce of high school graduates armed with relevant skills and credentials is critical for 21st century competitiveness. Yet, as I’ve learned through my work on the Board of the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) for the past 14 years, remarkably, nearly one in four high school student dropouts surveyed say relevant, real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in school.

Read the full article in Enterprise Services Outlook Magazine.

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