The warning has been out there for a few years: there is a growing mismatch between the skills that employers want and the skills that employees have. As the economy struggles to fully reopen, that warning is more relevant than ever.
How do you put 21 million people back to work? And how do you arm them with the skills that employers want and need to fill empty jobs when they finally become available?
Since its existence, WorkingNation has been examining those questions and reporting on tangible solutions to the skills gap problem.
This week, our Chief Content and Programming Officer Joan Lynch guested on NPR’s Jazzed About Work to discuss where work opportunities exist, and how to best prepare yourself for your job hunt. It comes down to knowing what skills you already have and learning how to get the skills that you are lacking in the current work climate.
“There’s going to be opportunity and in different areas of the country. Go into it with an idea of what are your skills. It’s a part of what we all need to be doing going forward,” she tells host Beverly Jones.
“Education does not end with the degree or certification. You’re a lifelong learner, which you hear all the time, but that really means what am I good at? What are the skills that I have and how can I make myself valuable to a certain organization?,” says Lynch.
In the podcast, they also talked specifics about some of the innovative programs helping bridge that skills gap for worker and employer alike, and some of the thought leaders who are leading the way.
“There’s a bunch of wonderful programs that we highlight through our journalism, both on our WorkingNation website and on our Work in Progress podcast.” We urge you to explore those links to find programs that might suit your needs.
In addition to reading our stories on the programs that are working, Lynch advises job seekers looking for upskilling opportunities to check out some of the organizations, programs, and people she called out on the podcast–we’ve listed them below–and to “look regionally within your local area to find programs.”
“The program model that we have seen work at a local level has been when business leaders, educators, not-for-profits—when all of these interest groups get together—recognize we need to build the workforce of the future in our area.”
You can listen to the entire podcast here Jazzed About Work, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.
Programs and Organizations Addressing the Skills Gap
Strada Education Network
School of Analytics at Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania
Apollo Veterans Talent Management
National Governors Association
Forum for the Future of Higher Education
HBI (Home Builders Institute)