> Challenge> History> Leadership> Funders> Priorities
> PCW Case Studies> PCW Annual Report 2015

Challenge: Growing Skills Gap
Our region's long-term economic success depends on our ability to develop and supply a qualified workforce. 

Businesses increasingly need higher skilled workers to compete and grow out of this recession, and workers need skills and preparation to secure well-paying jobs and advance in their careers. By 2018, nearly two-thirds of all jobs will require some post-secondary education or training. Of these jobs that will require post-secondary education, half will require a Bachelor's degree or higher, and half will require an Associate's degree or occupational certificate. In addition to technical skills and credentials, employers need workers with the professional skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. 

The skills of our workforce are not keeping pace with the demands of employers. Nearly half of our current workforce lacks any education beyond high school, and far too many of our high school graduates fail to successfully enroll in and complete post-secondary education. Employers also report that far too many workers lack basic professionalism skills, like work ethic, dependability, taking initiative, and problem solving. Our businesses cannot compete if they cannot find qualified workers, and our residents cannot get family-sustaining jobs unless they further develop their skills. 

This growing skills gap threatens our economic competitiveness. Site Selection Magazine's 2010 survey of corporate real-estate executives revealed that "Workforce Skills" are the number one consideration when making site selection decisions. However, half of all local businesses expect to struggle to find qualified workers for in-demand jobs in the next 3-5 years, even amidst record unemployment. A recent McKinsey & Co. survey found that 40% of corporate executives report that they have had unfilled positions for six months or longer because they cannot find qualified applicants. Nationwide, the U.S. Chamber estimates that at least 3 million jobs go unfilled due to the skills gap; a figured expected to reach 7 million by 2018. Economists estimate that if we had skilled workers to match job openings, our unemployment rate would be 2 - 3 percentage points lower.

Bottom line, our businesses cannot compete if they cannot find qualified workers, and our residents cannot get family-sustaining jobs unless they further develop their skills.

Key Facts

> By 2018, nearly two-thirds of all jobs will require some post-secondary education or training.

> Nearly half of our region's current workforce lacks any education beyond high school.

> Half of all local businesses expect to struggle to find qualified workers for in-demand jobs in the next 3-5 years.

> Nationwide, at least 3 million jobs go unfilled due to the skills gap; a figured expected to reach 7 million by 2018.
© Partners for a Competitive Workforce. All rights reserved. 2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202