The “skills gap” has become a popular buzzword, and for good reason. In 2016, nearly half of U.S. employers reported that they faced difficulty filling jobs due to lack of available talent. Both nursing and manufacturing in particular face a critical shortage of skilled workers, a trend driven largely by the aging baby boomer generation.
Just look at the stats:
- By 2024, there will be more than 1 million job openings in the U.S. for nurses.
- Over the next decade, 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled nationwide.
- And in Illinois, middle-skill jobs overall (requiring education beyond high school but not a four-year degree) account for 53 percent of the state’s labor market, but only 42 percent of the state’s workers are trained to the middle-skill level, according to the National Skills Coalition.