Connecting Classrooms to Careers to Shrink Ohio’s Skills Gap
Investments in deeper learning help ensure Ohio’s success
By 2025, Ohio is aiming to provide 65 percent of our residents with high-quality skills and credentials needed for our state’s jobs. Despite growth in this area over the past decade, only 44.6 percent of residents today are equipped with such a credential. As a state, we have a long way to go to ensure that our students gain the skills they need to be successful, productive members of our workforce. Innovative learning models are one critical solution to this challenge, and represent a worthwhile investment.
Amongst the skills that our employers report missing most are deeper learning skills, which include communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Statewide, our students lack proficiency at these skills, representing a major challenge for our employers to build the workforce they need. Our jobs, too, demand education credentials that today’s residents do not possess.
Ohio’s businesses and educators must work together to stress the importance of job skills. It’s the only way for our businesses to ensure a quality, skilled workforce and for our youth to look forward to rewarding, secure careers.
Tricia Maple-Damewood, President, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce
Building some of these skills as early as high school helps prepare students to succeed in our economy, and gives them the motivation and vision to see themselves in these positions. Innovative career-technical education (CTE) programs provide students with both the hard technical skills and the soft deeper learning skills that our businesses need to grow and thrive in the 21st century.
Investing in our students today means investing in our economy tomorrow, and Ohio’s business leaders, stakeholders, and policymakers must ensure that our CTE and postsecondary programs equip our students today to lead our businesses in the years to come.