Business Must Align With Schools to Close "Skills Gap"

July 27, 2015

Poor alignment of American businesses with the schools that train their workers is creating a "skills gap" that may make it hard to fill as many as 650,000 technical- and science-based jobs by 2018.

The country needs a shift in how industry and educational institutions relate to each other, economists and business executives say.

"We do not take an approach — either at the national level or state level - that creates an ease of communications between employers and educational institutions that are going to impart skills and background to potential employees," said Joe Fuller, a Harvard Business School professor and faculty member of the school's U.S. Competitiveness Project. "This is why we have 12 million to 13 million unemployed people and 650,000 job openings in manufacturing right now."

Recent college graduates typically have only about half the skills they need in the workplace, according to John Miller, chief operating officer for Denver-based consulting firm Hands-On Learning.

This forces businesses struggling to find qualified employees — in areas such as computers, mathematics, architecture, engineering, management and health care — to educate workers in-house, which is costly.

View this article by the Denver Post for more information on businesses aligning with schools to close "skills gap."

Northwood University Partnership:
The Michigan Chamber has partnered with Northwood University to help educate future business leaders on Michigan’s business climate. This two-fold partnership offers a $1,000 scholarship for eligible Northwood University students and a free student membership to all enrolled Northwood students. View the Northwood University Partnership webpage for more information.