New Employment Concern: Jobs are being created, but few skilled candidates are available to fill them

Barry Lenson

New Employment Concern: Jobs are being created, but few skilled candidates are available to fill them

 “'Skills gap' leaves firms without worker pipeline,” a recent Associated Press article by Erika Niedowski, points out a perplexing problem that is affecting employers. They are hiring – but cannot find workers who are trained to take on the jobs they need filled.

As an example, Niedowski cites a chemical laboratory in Rhode Island that would like to hire 15 to 20 new employees in the next year. And despite the fact that the unemployment rate in the State is a whopping 11 percent, the company simply cannot find enough candidates with appropriate education to take on the jobs.

According to Niedowski, The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce has determined that job growth really is happening, with 47 million job openings occurring between 2008 and 2018. According to the Center, nearly half of those jobs will require only an associate's degree. Yet even with the demand for only that two-year degree, employers will still find it difficult to find qualified candidates, because so many unemployed Americans never finished high school or completed college.

What is the answer to this problem? We know that president Obama is hoping that American community colleges will help provide under-educated Americans with the skills they need to enter the workforce. But at the moment, that seems not to be happening in the numbers that Obama was hoping for.

But may we ask– why can’t online education step in to equip more unemployed Americans to fill the growing number of job vacancies? There has never been a better time to quickly learn needed new skills online, such as accounting, anatomy, chemistry, medical terminology  and more.

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