How Millennials Are Bridging The Skills Gap

We all agree advancing in life is like climbing a ladder. Problem is, the rungs on that ladder are getting farther and farther apart all the time.

Millennials make 20% less money than baby boomers did for the same work, at the same age. They’ll also have to save twice as much for retirement as the previous generation. On top of it all, the cost of a college education has been rising steadily for decades and is now out of reach for many.

And now, that college education doesn’t even guarantee a job for a majority of college students — unemployment and underemployment among grads have been rising steadily since about 2001. Underemployment rallied somewhat in 2015, but it still stood at 44.6% among graduates.

Not to get too mushy, but all of these factors combined paint a clear picture: Work life in the US for millennials is of obviously lower quality than it was for their parents’ generation, and “getting ahead” is becoming harder.

Click here to read more about Millennials and the Skills Gap by Sarah Landrum from Forbes.

Mike Rowe on How to Combat Unemployment & the Skills Gap

Television host Mike Rowe explained Wednesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” the importance of fixing the “skills gap” in America.

Rowe said there are 5.6 million job openings waiting to be filled in fields that for the most part do not require a bachelor’s degree.

The former “Dirty Jobs” host and QVC pitchman said he’s sent letters to both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump drawing attention to that fact.

“There’s a belief … in the country that we can cure unemployment by creating opportunity,” Rowe said. “The skills gap proves that opportunity along is not enough to get people employed.”

“It’s a sucker’s bet … You have to be talking about jobs that are uniformly cared about,” Rowe said, referencing many trades where such job openings exist.

Click here to read more on Mike Rowe by Fox New Insider.

Bridging the skills gap of young leaders in your business

Organizations cannot just turn a blind eye on the increasing number of younger workforce and millennial leaders, coupled with a large number of baby boomers. One of the biggest challenge for leaders today is managing these different personalities while maintaining a strong, productive culture in a diverse environment.

There is a study that shows the current leadership capacity in any organization is insufficient in meeting future leadership requirements. If the younger generation are now given the position to lead your business, there should be a conscious effort to bridge the leadership and management skills gap seen on them. The board room may think that they lack the managerial competencies that will help advance the team to reach your business goals. But they should not deny the promise and potential of these young leaders and managers to know and adapt the current business challenges, and use modern technologies to their advantage.

Click here to read more about Emerging Leaders Summit: Bridging Leadership Gap from the website.

‘Cheers’ co-star headlines Q-C manufacturing conference

Best known as the know-it-all mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the television show “Cheers,” actor John Ratzenberger is criss-crossing the country these days with a warning about the future of American manufacturing and the severe skills shortage ahead.


”We’re approaching an industrial tsunami. What’s going to happen is we’re going to end up in a crisis where we can’t find people that know how to use tools,” Ratzenberger said in a telephone interview last week.

Click here to read more about the Midwest Manufacturing Business Conference by Jennifer DeWitt from the Quad-City Times.

Close Essential Skills Gaps Through Language and Cultural Training

Employee retention and skills gaps remain some of the top concerns for talent development professionals. This challenge is felt most strongly in industries where retention is consistently low, such as hospitality. The challenges grow when your workforce is multicultural and lacking in essential skills, such as fluency in English and business communications.

Hospitality is an incredibly diverse industry with 12 percent of workers being foreign-born, according to the Pew analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010-2013 American Community Survey. Many talent development specialists in the industry find it difficult to engage, retain, and develop culturally diverse talent, some of whom may struggle with their English communication skills or immersing themselves in an American work culture.

Click here to read Casey Buchanan’s article from the Association for Talent Development webiste.  

Community colleges changing career training for future jobs

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders recently approved a plan to repair our state’s aging roads and bridges bringing economic and workforce issues to the forefront of the conversation. Modernizing infrastructure deserves to be a top public priority, but for workers to benefit and prosper in our economy, they must have access to necessary skills.

A generation ago, high school graduates could aspire to apply for jobs at local manufacturing or warehouse facilities, work there for their entire careers, and earn wages that would allow them and their families to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. This is no longer the case.

Click here to learn more the efforts in California by Eloy Ortiz Oakley published in The Sacramento Bee. 


The US is struggling with a significant gap between employers’ expectations and young adults’ skills sets.

Recent data shows that:

  • By 2020, 65 percent of jobs in America will require postsecondary education—which only 60 percent of Americans currently have. That leaves a gap of 5 million jobs. (Learn more in Ready Nation’s Shrinking State Skills Gap report)
  • Nationwide, over 95% of jobs created post The Great Recession have gone to workers with some post-secondary education. (Learn more in Georgetown University Center on Education’s America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Not report)

California, the world’s 8th largest economy, is well-positioned to test big solutions to workforce and skills gaps, such as reimagining the indicators and measures used to assess preparation for college and career.

To solve the skills gap challenge, California and other states have invested significantly in Linked Learning, a high school redesign approach that prioritizes college and career readiness upon high school graduation. A growing number of districts in California and across the country are implementing Linked Learning pathways. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the nation serving more than 640,000 students, has been implementing Linked Learning since 2010.

Click here to learn more about Linked Learning from the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. 

Sen. Franken urges closing ‘skills gap’ with training other than four-year degrees

Most jobs of the future will require postsecondary training, but that doesn’t mean every worker needs a four-year degree.

“You can throw a rock on the Senate floor and you will hit a senator (whose state has) a skills gap. Every state has this,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken said Monday at St. Paul College.

Minnesota and states across the nation face a growing shortage of workers qualified to fill “middle-skill” jobs that require some training beyond the typical high school diploma, but not a bachelor’s degree. This so-called “skills gap” leaves many manufacturing, health care, information technology and other companies struggling to find workers.

Click here to read Christopher Magan’s complete article from teh Twin Cities Pioneer Press. 

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