New report highlights WA state's large and growing jobs skills gap
A new report, "Great Jobs Within Our Reach," reveals a large and growing gap between the number of open jobs in Washington and the number of skilled workers available in-state to fill those positions.
The report, released today by the Washington Roundtable and The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., shows that if the state takes steps to fill the growing gap, it would mean 160,000 jobs across many sectors in state by 2017.
This report is highly relevant to our state's K-12 and higher education systems and highlights the need for an increased emphasis on math and science, said Partnership for Learning Executive Director Jana Carlisle.
"By 2018, nearly 70 percent of the jobs in this state will require college or some level of postsecondary education. The Roundtable's study shows just how big the skills gap is here," she said. "This should be a wakeup call to all of us that we need improve our education systems and to ensure Washington students leave high school ready for college, work and life."
The Roundtable recommended five steps for policymakers to address the job skills gap:
- Increase computer science, engineering and healthcare capacity and throughput at colleges and universities in Washington.
- Foster STEM interest and performance among K-12 students.
- Improve alignment of technical degree and certificate curricula with employer demands.
- Promote and enable in-bound migration of skilled workers from other states.
- Support expansion of international immigration opportunities
Here is some early media coverage of the job skills gap report: Seattle Times, Crosscut and KING-5. Visit www.waroundtable.com to download the report and accompanying materials.
LEAGUE OF EDUCATION VOTERS
LEV releases Washington education report card
The League of Education Voters released its biennial report card on Washington's K-12 education system Tuesday. The report card shows the state is not making progress toward "creating excellent schools for all students," earning a C or lower in all data categories: early learning, STEM, meaningful high school diploma, success after graduation, and funding and accountability.
The report also highlights bright sports and best practices at specific schools and districts, but showing progress on key education issues has "stagnated or reversed."
COMMUNITY FORUMS NETWORK
Deadline nears for WA education funding survey
The deadline is nearing to let your voice be heard in the second education funding survey by Community Forums Network (CFN). In the fall, CFN asked about education funding levels. A strong majority of respondents -- 65 percent -- said that current K-12 spending is not enough.
The second survey covers how to make education dollars and investments the most effective, and which reforms and strategies will result in the biggest improvement in student learning. Take the survey and let your voice be heard.
PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS
First meeting set for WA charter school commission
The first meeting of the newly appointed Washington State Charter School Commission is April 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Governor's Conference Room, Legislative Building, 2nd Floor (416 Sid Snyder Ave., Olympia). A meeting agenda has not yet been released.
Also, if you're interested in the timeline for charter school authorization, the Washington Policy Center released a policy brief titled, "How to Open a Charter School in Washington." Click here to view the brief.