“Minnesota faces a growing skills gap. Just [five] years from now, 70 percent of Minnesota jobs will require education beyond high school. [Their] growing need for a highly skilled workforce, which is among the greatest in the country, has been brought on by an increasingly competitive global economy and rapidly evolving technologies. Yet today, only 40 percent of working-age adults in Minnesota have a postsecondary degree, such as associate’s or bachelor’s degree. This growing skills gap has enormous implications for Minnesota’s economic competitiveness and the ability of its citizens to secure a middle-class lifestyle. Shifts in demographics exacerbate the problem. As the highly-educated baby boomer generation reaches retirement, employers will begin to see a worker shortage, particularly in occupations requiring higher levels of skill….
The recession has hastened the move toward higher-skill jobs. While unemployment rates remain high, a longer-term consequence of the current recession is a shift toward higher-skill jobs. Fully 71 percent of American workers are in jobs for which there is low demand or an oversupply of eligible workers….
Education and training are the best ways to remain competitive. Minnesota has long recognized that the key to opportunity and shared prosperity rests in the quality of its workforce, and this has been a driving force behind our investments in education and training…. “ (p. 4).
“With all hands on deck, we can build the skills of every individual. The following recommendations aim to do this by:
• Strengthening the skills of our current workforce (see page 6)
• Creating work and lifetime learning options for Minnesota’s aging workers (see page 16)
• Expanding work opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities (see page 22)
• Ensuring all high school graduates are ready for career and postsecondary success (see page 28)” (p. 5) ( Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)
Major Findings & Recommendations
The authors identified recommendations to accomplish the following: 1. “Strengthen the Skills of Our Current Workforce: Minnesota cannot address its skill shortage without focusing on the current labor force” (p.2). [Specific recommendations summarized on pages 8-14] 2. “Create Work and Lifetime Learning Options for Minnesota’s Aging Workers: With the baby boomers reaching retirement, building and retaining the skills of aging workers is key to sustaining economic growth” (p. 2). [Specific recommendations summarized on pages 18-20] 3. “Expand Work Opportunities for Minnesotans with Disabilities The talents and abilities of Minnesotans with disabilities should be fully engaged” (p. 3). [Specific recommendations summarized on pages 24-26] 4. “Ensure All High School Graduates are Ready for Success: Preparing all students for career and postsecondary success will ensure inclusive prosperity for future generations” (p. 3). [Specific recommendations summarized on pages 30-36] (Author: Abstractor and Website Staff)