Brief | June 1, 2014

3 Ways to Shrink New York's Skills Gap

Early education, high academic standards, and improved high schools will build a stronger workforce

If current education and labor market trends continue, New York could have 350,000 middle-­skill job openings for which the state does not have qualified applicants. To reverse this skills­ gap, ReadyNation’s business leader urge a three-point plan:

  1. Expand high­-quality early learning programs
  2. Continue New York’s Common Core Learning Standards(CCLS)
  3. Expand access to innovative education models and multiple pathways to graduation

A pipeline of skilled workers will be hard to create when 23 percent of New York high school students fail to graduate on time, and only 35 percent of New York’s public school students graduate college­ and career­-ready. The results will be costly for students, businesses, and our entire state— reflected in the price tags for remedial education, lowered lifetime earnings, and poorer tax receipts.

The skills deficiencies go beyond those related to specific occupations. New York businesses are also concerned about the lack of increasingly important “deeper learning” or “executive functioning” skills— such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking—required for virtually any occupation in today’s world.

To reverse these troubling trends, New York business leaders are calling for investments in evidence­-based education initiatives. That is how we will build a prosperous future in New York.


  1. New York