With unemployment hovering at its lowest level in the last 50 years and advances in technology changing the industrial landscape at a rapid pace, industries across the board and around the world are having a difficult time finding and retaining the skilled workers they need.
The disparity between the number of highly-skilled workers industry needs and the insufficient number of workers available is known as the “skills gap,” and it’s the most pressing problem facing the majority of industries today.
The nation’s community colleges are on the front lines of the battle to bridge the skills gap, and progress is being made. In North Carolina, for example, short-term workforce programs are fueling growth in community college enrollment for the first time in a decade.
According to Peter Hans, president of the NC Community College System, “Our short-term workforce programs are leading students to good jobs in manufacturing, information technology, health care, transportation and other fields. With a small investment of time and money in these programs, students can begin a rewarding new career that can sustain them and their families.”
In 2019, the NC Community College System saw a sharp increase of 9.4% in enrollment in short-term workforce education. This sparked an overall 4.4% increase in enrollment in North Carolina’s community colleges – the first such increase in almost a decade.
This is great news for students, workers, and businesses across North Carolina, and it should provide encouragement to all educational institutions fighting to bridge the skills gap.
As Hans recently noted, “We’re closing the skills gap with this level of growth. It means more people are on their way to meaningful careers and brighter futures. It means more people are recognizing the value and quality of a community college education.”
About Duane Bolin
Duane Bolin is a former curriculum developer and education specialist. He is currently a Marketing Content Developer for Amatrol, Inc. Learn more about Amatrol and its technical training solutions, including eLearning, here and connect with Duane on Amatrol’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages.