Business needs to step up in STEM education

A dwindling supply of college graduates in STEM fields matched with an increasing supply of future STEM jobs is a recipe for labor shortages and constraints on economic growth.

Yesterday, Mass High Tech issued a call to action for businesses help build a pipeline of workers with STEM skills. Making investments to skill up our current workforce is a great place to start. There are great examples of businesses who have stepped up to provide on-site skills training, tuition advancement, and release time, not only to managers but also to line level staff in order to facilitate their education and advancement and build a pipeline of talent for critical positions.

Two-thirds of our 2020 workforce is in the workforce today. While it’s important to build a K-12 STEM pipeline, it’s also critical to invest in today’s workers.

Right here in Massachusetts, Nypro has a partnership with Fitchburg State College to deliver a plastics technology certificate program that’s both customized to their needs but that also articulates to a portable Associates Degree. This provides tremendous opportunity for both incumbent workers at Nypro to upgrade their skills as well as job seekers interested in a career in manufacturing. In fact, Nypro’s Angelo Sabatolo, Corporate Director of Training and Organizational Development, recently shared that many students enrolled in Nypro University are not Nypro employees, and that Nypro does sometimes end up training their competitors. He says, however, that Nypro sees its investment in training as a way to build its own workforce as well as a way to strengthen the industry as a whole.

As Mr. Sabatalo says, “The development and sustainability of a quality workforce demands a significant and continued investment in education and training. [H]uman capital is our most valuable asset. [L]earning and professional development (are) strategic elements to our success.”

The same holds true for the Commonwealth.

Advertisements

$24M for the Workforce Training Fund in FY2011

Thanks to everyone who called their Senators asking them to override the Governor’s veto of $12.5 million for the Workforce Training Fund.

Thanks to you, and to the members of the legislature, the override was successful, and there will be a total of $24 million in the Workforce Training Fund in FY2011.  This funding will be available to businesses for grants to support training including skills upgrading, basic skills, and ESOL.

Learn more about the Workforce Training Fund.

Ask the Senate to support veto override of Workforce Training Fund

Call for Senate support for the Workforce Training Fund

Last Tuesday, the House restored $12.5 million to the Workforce Training Fund in the FY2011 budget that was vetoed by Gov. Deval Patrick.   Now we need the Senate to do the same.

Full funding for the Workforce Training Fund is one of the Skills2Compete-Massachusetts campaign’s key recommendations.

Contact your state senator TODAY to let them know you support an override.

SkillWorks, Workforce Solutions Group release Massachusetts Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs Report

Did you know that through 2016, nearly 400,000 job openings in Massachusetts will require more than a high school education but not a four-year degree? These “middle-skill” jobs comprise 45 percent of the jobs in Massachusetts and are a vital part of our economy. Read more by downloading Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs, a report released today by SkillWorks and the Workforce Solutions Group in partnership with the National Skills Coalition.

See also today’s Boston Globe story.

Do you have a story about middle-skill training or jobs?  Please share it with us!

400,000 Middle Skill Job Openings in MA?

Today’s Boston Globe article, “Training needed for mid-level jobs,” features finding from Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs, a new report released by SkillWorks, the Workforce Solutions Group and the National Skills Coalition today.

Along with the study, SkillWorks and partners are launching the Skills2Compete Massachusetts campaign with recommendations on how to better prepare our workforce for these middle-skill jobs that will comprise nearly 40 percent of job openings through 2016.

What are you doing to help people prepare for middle skill jobs?  Share your ideas on this blog and let us know!