80% of manufacturers report a shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions, and the shortage could cost U.S. manufacturers 11% of their annual earnings. Manufacturing executives reported an average of 94 days to recruit engineering and research employees and 70 days to recruit skilled production workers. The skills gap is driving up what are already above average wages and benefits in U.S. manufacturing. Studies show an increasing skills gap with as many as two million jobs going unfilled in the manufacturing industry alone in the next decade.
The Association for Advancing Automation (http://www.a3automate.org) (A3) explores the impact of automation on the ever-evolving job market and the growing shortage of skilled employees with experience and training in advanced technologies. A3 examines the types of jobs that are going unfilled and reviews workforce development initiatives, including education, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training that will fill labor shortages and support ongoing economic growth and productivity. http://www.a3automate.org/work-in-the-automation-age-white-paper/
There is tremendous buzz lately about setting up a makerspace. Thankfully, educators, policy makers (for some reason they are not always one and the same?) administrators and the education community in general are realizing that in order to really cultivate metacognition and real-world skills, we need hands-on, project-based learning. Object-based learning is making a comeback, and teachers are connecting lessons back to the industry, creating a more vocational education. A big part of this movement towards active learning and STEM is creating a makerspace in the classroom.
Many Minnesota employers say they can’t find skilled workers with the right career training. Meanwhile, high schools are cutting career and technical education courses because they can’t find qualified teachers. “The jobs are there, and we’re not preparing our kids well enough to get into those jobs because the system has not allowed us to,” said Stephen Jones, the superintendent of schools in Little Falls, Minnesota. His district hasn’t had to cancel any courses for lack of instructors, but he says smaller districts in the state have.
Two-thirds of states are currently reporting a shortage of CTE teachers in at least one specialty, according to a Stateline analysis of federal data. Many states, such as Minnesota and South Dakota, have had a shortage of CTE teachers for a decade. Some states, such as Maine, Maryland and New York, have had a shortage for almost 20 years.
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