The importance of a well-educated workforce

At Business Forward briefings across the country, business leaders have shared how important a well-educated workforce is, stressing the value in continue with STEM initiatives and community partnerships for job training.

The numbers and research back them up.

In a Pew Report released in January, researchers found that a four-year college degree helped protect young people from unemployment, low-skill jobs, and lesser wages during the recent economic downturn.

A study completed by researchers at Georgetown University revealed that more than half of the jobs created during the economic recovery have been filled by workers with a Bachelor’s degree or better.

In another report, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that workforce development programs specifically “produce widespread benefits for employers and society as a whole, likely leading to sustained increases in productivity and economic growth.”

Echoing the finding in these and other studies, the Administration has recently announced policies to best prepare America’s youth to enter the workforce.

Last week, the Department of Education announced it had joined forces with the Department of Labor to create a $474.5 million initiative to foster innovative partnerships between community colleges and businesses. The goal is to educate and train workers with the skills employers need.

The Education Department will also be holding discussions with leaders in the higher education community on new rules that will help guide colleges and universities that are preparing students for the workforce.

The White House also hosted its annual Science Fair last week, where President Obama announced improvements to the administration’s Educate to Innovate campaign, which has the goal of getting more young people interested in science, technology, engineering, and math.