The National Governors Association (NGA) released a comprehensive report, Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Road Map for States, on June 20th. The road map highlights the current disparities in the U.S. between the high number of jobs requiring advanced technical education and the dwindling population of workers with the skills to fill them. The report also identifies the process for governors to solve this challenge by aligning education and training with the needs of states’ economies.
Today’s fastest-growing industries demand not only new skills but a higher level of overall education. An inability to increase the attainment of postsecondary education will result in unfilled jobs and unrealized economic gains for millions of Americans. In response to this challenge, NGA has worked with states to identify solutions. NGA’s Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Roadmap for States, is designed to show the process by which states align education, workforce development, and economic development to meet the modern needs of state economies.
The road map studies the results of 13 state participants in the NGA’s 2014 “Talent Pipeline Policy Academy.” The pipeline was formed in response to economic projections that 65% of future jobs will require some higher education credential. States are not currently situated to meet this minimum, as only 45.8% of working-age adults holding a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or advanced degree. This sizeable gap between required skills and future employees presents a major challenge to economic growth prospects.
This report is a crucial aspect of state preparation for the modern economy.