Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today's workforce is tomorrow's workforce

The biggest bottleneck to our economic recovery might be the lack of skilled workers in key sectors of our economy. If we don't have the skilled workers in the clean energy, global health, business services and other growing industries, we could lose competitive advantage to nations who are investing in these industries now.

What do we do? First of all, we have to recognize that today's workforce is tomorrow workforce. Our workforce turns over at between 1% and 2% per year. That means that for at least the next 26 years, workers already working will still fill a majority of jobs.

This means that we have to up the skills of low skilled workers so they can fill the higher skilled jobs. This is going to be a challenge. Workers under 34 have lower education levels than those over 34 (we may the only country in the world with this problem). Demographically, immigrants are the fastest growing portion of the workforce and in many cases language skills are lacking.

The state legislature is struggling with funding retraining for dislocated workers and state budget cuts are reducing capacity at community colleges. We have a lot at stake here. Something has to change.

No comments:

Post a Comment