A Closer Look

Skills Gap – Early childhood education, foundation for a skilled workforce of the future

Want to build a talent pipeline? Invest in early childhood education. That’s the message of ReadyNation, an organization of 1,400 business leaders who believe that quality education for young children is the foundation for a skilled workforce of the future. Capture d’écran 2016-05-19 à 08.18.18

James Spurlino, president of Spurlino Materials, has had trouble for the last 10 years filling positions at his Middletown, Ohio-based construction supply business.

“I’m talking positions that would require a high school diploma and some amount of vocation training, education—two years or less—are by far the vast majority of my employees, and the ones that I’ve had trouble employing whether unemployment rates were 10 percent or 5 percent—and they’re less than 5 percent in Ohio,” he said during a March 2016 panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

“This is a global competitiveness issue,” as well as a fiscal and moral issue, said Spurlino, an advocate for employer investment in early childhood education.

The idea has gained traction among groups such as the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Global competition for human talent and innovation, long-standing educational achievement gaps, low high school graduation rates, and the pending retirement of 77 million Baby Boomers have placed tremendous workforce pressures on American business,” according to an ICW position paper titled Why Business Should Support Early Childhood Education.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Business Investment in Early Childhood Education = Future Skilled Workforce

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