STRAC Institute
Formerly known as VAe
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Skills Gap

Bridging the Skills Gap One Graduate at a Time

“The skills gap refers to the employment gap in “middle skills” jobs – those requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree.” Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce

“The skills gap may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028. “ Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 2018.”

“These jobs not only represent the fastest-growing segment of the workforce, but key industries count on them. What’s more, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.”

“These are high-paying jobs in high demand – the fastest-growing segment of the job market in a compelling report from the Ball Foundation’s Career Vision program. And yet America’s workforce has a problem. While demand for middle-skills workers has grown, supply continues on a steady path of decline.”

Employers are not making the changes necessary to close the gap, and in fact “many middle market companies are not equipped to recruit, hire, train, and retain a skilled workforce.” “The growing shortage stems in part from two factors: the fast pace of technological change and the rate at which Baby Boomers are retiring, taking their expertise along with them.”

“But there’s a third, less overt factor: a shift away from employer-subsidized training. Middle-skills jobs typically require an associate degree or some form of certification, licensing or apprenticeship. Most employers used to provide this kind of training. Today, more and more employees need to find their own apprenticeship or community college, vocational or technical school program.”

“In a recent study, Harvard Business School, Accenture and Burning Glass Technologies analyzed the middle-skills job market data and made five key findings:

  1. American industry needs middle skills to compete globally.
  2. America’s workforce needs middle skills to earn higher wages and improve their living standards.
  3. Businesses need to drive middle-skills job growth, creating higher-wage jobs and a pathway for workers to higher lifetime career value.
  4. Educators need to partner with employers to create a pipeline of ready-to-employ, middle-skilled people through internship and apprenticeship programs, internal training programs, and community partnerships.
  5. Policymakers need to fuel the collaboration between business leaders and educators with up-to-date information and fresh metrics.”

“The study also confirmed what today’s most progressive higher ed institutions already know – that a four-year college education is not the only path to a rewarding career. Nor is a traditional college campus education.”

The Strac Advantage

The skills gap includes the gap between employers’ needs and the preparation provided by traditional 2 and 4-year institutions. For more on the STRAC advantage over traditional schooling, click here.