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During our discussion about careers at the March 27 event at Hayes Middle School in West Virginia, many students indicated a desire to be a doctor or a veterinarian - careers traditionally popular among middle school-aged students. Loftis’ class, however, knows what it takes to get to these popular career choices. After participating in the STEM Scholars program, students demonstrate a better grasp of the STEM skills required to pursue these careers.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute today released a new paper advancing a solution for increased employer leadership and investment in earn and learn pathways, including apprenticeships, internship programs, vocational education, and on-the-job training. The paper, entitled “Quality Pathways: Employer Leadership in Earn and Learn Opportunities,” highlights the importance of employer leadership in developing a growing workforce that meets the needs of a modernizing United States economy.
Closing the communications gap requires investments on both sides of the equation. Employers and education providers must work together to ensure the signals are accurate, clear, and verifiable. As the use of digital credentials expands, job seekers will gain unprecedented insight into the link between what they learn and the sort of employment opportunities that exist in their community -- or around the country. And for employers, the improved signal-to-noise ratio means a higher percentage of qualified applicants for each job opening, and improved ability of hiring managers to identify the best candidates for their position.
Despite historically low unemployment and a growing economy, hiring skilled workers remains a challenge in many of our nation’s key industries, such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, and healthcare. We know America’s young people have talent. Now it’s time to embrace the tools necessary to more effectively discover and guide that emerging talent to high demand careers.
America is in need of a new pathway to opportunity, one where employers, government, and learners share in the risk of talent development. Our current education and training systems are struggling to align to the changing workforce development needs of the economy, and there is a need for expanded leadership and investment from the business community. We need a new approach that will create shared value and more effective pathways to employment. Now is the time to act.