What Will It Take to Close the Skills Gap? Take an Educated Guess

One of the most pressing issues employers face today is the growing talent gap.

The skills gap can have a paralyzing effect on businesses and the broader economy. The pace of technological change is only exacerbating the problem. We’re seeing roles evolve rapidly, as they grow more complex and require additional training. CareerBuilder research has shown that 2 in 5 employers are now hiring people with college degrees for positions that were previously held by those with high school diplomas. Sixty-one percent of these employers attributed this to roles within their organizations now requiring more sophisticated skill sets.A recent nationwide study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of my company, CareerBuilder, found that nearly 60 percent of U.S. employers have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer. The average cost companies say they incur for having extended job vacancies is more than $800,000 annually.

During a recent panel discussion on bridging the skills gap, I had the opportunity to talk with Donna Shalala, former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services and current president of the Clinton Foundation; Austan Goolsbee, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago who was the chief economist for President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board; and Kevin Gilligan, CEO and chairman of Capella Education Co.

Click here to read Mark Ferguson’s complete interview published on the Workforce website. 

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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