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Want to Boost the Economy? Skip the Four-Year Degree

Middle-market employers are looking for more workers with education – just not the four-year brand you'd expect.

(Photo credit: eflon / Flickr)

Talk to manufacturers and you'll hear a familiar refrain: They want employees with hands-on, practical know-how to operate machinery and manage factory automation. But these jobs that drive the economy are also some of the most difficult to fill because so many students focus on a four-year diploma instead of the vocational school training that would ready them for the understaffed, high-skill workforce.

"The labor landscape has changed dramatically since the recession, with fewer and fewer unskilled entry-level positions and an increasing number of jobs requiring high-level technical training," Mark Joseph Stern writes for Roadshow for Growth. "Companies that need skilled workers can’t get them; unskilled workers who need jobs can’t get them. Behold: the skills gap."

College grads come equipped with valuable expertise, but not exactly the kind manufacturers need.

To have a strong workforce, we need to focus on training people to meed the demands of an ever-changing economy, one increasingly dominated by high-tech and skilled manufacturing. 

 

“We need to tell our young people: Don’t just go to college,” says Sen. Ron Johnson Johnson (R-Wisconsin). “You might not need a four-year degree. Vocational training and technical schools are a fine way to realize your potential.”

Read the rest of Stern's post here.

 

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think economic recovery depends on us filling the skills gap? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments below.

 

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