Critical Need: Skilled Workforce
• Looming workforce shortage—the pace of Central Iowa’s economic expansion increasing over the last few years with an unemployment rate that continues to trend downward.
• Careers today require advanced knowledge and/or technical skills. By 2018, three out of five jobs in Central Iowa will require education beyond high school. Earning a credential/certification or a two or four year degree will be essential.
• A growing skills gap, particularly middle skills, and the need for a more credentialed workforce.
• Currently, the demand for skilled workers in some industry sectors are increasing at a pace far greater than our existing community and technical colleges can produce.
• Increased reliance on skills and productivity—the need for an educated workforce is expected to increase by 2020,where 65 percent of all jobs will require some postsecondary education.
• Central Iowa’s top 50 jobs are projected to experience both high demand and pay high salaries through 2020, 94 percent require postsecondary education (Iowa
Workforce Development, October 2012).
• Improving the traditional educational pipeline is crucial, but we must also focus on adults. Many adults need education and training to skill up and find a promising career and support a family.
• In Central Iowa we have over 30,000 adults without a minimum foundation of a high school diploma or equivalency.