Creative Approach Needed to Address Job Skills Gap

Huffington Post

The president recently announced a plan to make two years of community college and technical school free to responsible students, which underscores a serious problem that not only affects unemployed youth, but small business owners, as well.

Despite the fact that more than five years have passed since the end of the Great Recession, six million young Americans are unemployed — a staggering number that negatively affects economic demand and hurts small businesses. At the same time, small employers are struggling to fill job vacancies. In fact, some 40 percent of American employers cite lack of skills as the No. 1 reason for entry-level vacancies. What’s more, Small Business Majority polled a random sample of small business owners across the country and found a majority of small businesses are hiring but struggle to find qualified workers. Continue reading

The Skills Gap Is Hurting Small Businesses; Here’s What They Want to Do About It

Huffington Post

As our economy recovers from the recession, the employment outlook is shifting. New fields, like technology, are seeing rapid growth, while struggling old guards, such as manufacturing, are experiencing unexpected revivals. This changing economic landscape is catching many people off-guard, as they’re finding they aren’t prepared for in-demand careers. The result is that our economy is suffering from a skills gap, and small businesses are struggling to find employees whose skills match their needs.

Employment numbers reflect the urgency of this gap. In August, Department of Labor data showed about 9.6 million people were out of work, while about 4.8 millions jobs went unfilled. This issue impacts both workers, who remain unemployed, and businesses, which are unable to find the type of workers they need to grow. Continue reading