Omaha Public Radio News
Wed June 15, 2011
Nebraska Appleseed recently released a report called Bridging the Gaps
By Cheril Lee
Omaha, NE – A new report released by the Nebraska Appleseed Center indicates Nebraska faces a significant skills gap.
Kate Bolz, Spokesperson for Nebraska Appleseed, says the state's current work force is not going to meet the skills gap projected for the future. She says in 2018, 64% of the vacant jobs in Nebraska will require a post-secondary education that is some sort of advanced degree or certificate. Bolz says right now only 36% of the working population has an Associate's Degree or higher, "One it tells us that there's a skills gap that we are going to need to educate and train our workers if we are going to compete in the future economy. But it also tells us that high school graduates won't be able to fill the demand in our state in the future. And that we must also look toward working adults to fill our education and skills demand."
Bolz says the report promotes strategies called bridge programs that help people take the step from remedial education into credit bearing, degree seeking educational opportunities. She says Nebraska Appleseed seeks to expand its capacity and create systems that are better suited to the adult working population who are returning to school for a post-secondary education. For more information, the website is neappleseed.org.