March 04, 2014
PCW working to fill skills gap, 30,000 jobs unfilled
Darius Jeter, kitting medical supplies at the Easter Seals TriState packaging and fulfillment center on Gilbert Avenue. Easter Seals TriState is a community partner of PCW.
The growing skills gap in the United States has been widely documented. Businesses report that they cannot find skilled workers to fill crucial positions at a time of high unemployment.
To further understand the impact of the skills gap in the Cincinnati region, multiple research partners collaborated in 2011 to develop the 2020 Jobs Outlook and to quantify current employment needs. The report outlines that roughly on any given day, 30,000 jobs are unfilled and about 130,000 people are looking for work. The region is expected to add a minimum of 106,115 new jobs by 2020. Of all jobs paying $33,130 or more in 2020, 95% are predicted to require some combination of post-secondary education, on-the-job training and/or work experience beyond one year. Unfortunately, the current workforce is not prepared to meet these employer needs.
Many local efforts are in place to close this skills gap in the Cincinnati region. Partners for a Competitive Workforce (PCW) is a nationally-recognized collaborative of more than 150 organizations, including employers, workforce investment boards, Chambers of Commerce, post-secondary institutions and training programs. PCW has established employer-driven career pathways designed to help lower-skilled workers obtain employment and advance in the growing sectors of healthcare, construction, advanced manufacturing and information technology. Since 2008, through the work of PCW's partners, over 7800 people have been trained, 80% of which have gained employment. While these are good results, much work remains.
Deep employer involvement is key to fully understand the skills needed for the in-demand occupations so that the education and training institutions can develop the curriculum and hands-on experiences to build those skills. Employers are also needed to build awareness of the good careers that are available in the growing industries in our region. If you would like more information on this work or if you would like to get involved, please contact Janice Urbanik at firstname.lastname@example.org.