PPI Calls for Bolder, Innovative Initiatives to Bridge Modern Skills Gap
To close America’s skills gap and allow tens of millions of displaced Americans to join the dynamic economy, progressives need bolder, more innovative initiatives.
WASHINGTON— The Progressive Policy Institute is calling for a more aggressive approach to bridging America’s skills gap following House Democrats’ introduction of major legislation to reauthorize the landmark Higher Education Act.
Although reauthorization is long overdue, the new legislation, called the College Affordability Act, proposes mainly marginal improvements to a broken higher education financing system. Moreover, it doesn’t do enough to help people who don’t go to college – the majority of young Americans – acquire the skills they need to land solid, middle-class jobs that remain unfilled in abundance.
“As the College Affordability Act demonstrates, Congress is eager to grapple with Higher Education Reauthorization,” said author Ryan Craig, “but current proposals are marginal improvements on a broken system.”
The research is clear: U.S. Department of Labor statistics suggest that 7.3 million jobs remain unfilled, many of them high-paying, high-skill positions. Survey after survey reports that employers are unable to find skilled workers.
To help close America’s skills gap and allow tens of millions of alienated Americans to join the dynamic economy, progressives need bolder, more innovative initiatives. In a report released today by Ryan Craig and the Progressive Policy Institute, the research assesses conventional remedies and presents creative alternatives: a new Progressive Skills Agenda for all young people, whether or not they are college-bound.
“Democrats can become the party of workforce development in addition to the party of college,” said Craig, “and if they can, not only will they help return economic power to their traditional working-class base, they’ll have a shot at winning back these crucial voters in 2020 and beyond.”