Report: Nebraskans unprepared for jobs of future
May 27th, 2011
Lincoln, NE – A new report shows many Nebraskans are not prepared to fill the jobs of the future.
The report shows 35% of adults in Nebraska have no education beyond high school. Thatâ€™s a large chunk of the population. And as the economy rebounds and takes on new forms, those workers might be left behind.
â€œOur future economy as a nation is really going to be focused on higher-skilled jobs,â€ said Kate Wolz, the Associate Director of Low Income Economic Opportunity Program at Nebraska Appleseed. Wolz released a report Thursday that says 66% of jobs by 2018 will require some form of post-secondary education.
â€œIndustries like financial services, biosciences, and agricultural engineeringâ€¦those are the kinds of jobs our nation is moving towards, and perhaps our world is moving towards. So we need to think as a state how we keep up with the pace of change.â€
Wolz said the number of high school graduates in Nebraska wonâ€™t be sufficient to meet the job demands of the future, and the state must turn to adults already in the work force. But that has its challenges.
â€œUnfortunately, about one in four working families is low-income despite their participation in the workforce,â€ Wolz said. â€œSo our state needs to think about specifically how to engage working families.â€
Wolz said there are examples of successful programs in Nebraska that do engage working families, including one in Lincoln highlighted in the report: Pathways Out Of Poverty run by Southeast Community College provides services to working families like childcare and transportation. Those services can go a long way in helping working adults advance their education, while still making ends meet at home.
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