How can Nebraska close the skills gap?

We know that hard work is one of the values Nebraskans take the most pride in.  But, how do we match up the Nebraskans who want to go to work with well-paying jobs that can help them succeed?

60 Minutes recently ran a story on what is called “the skills gap.”  According to the story, there are more than 3 million open jobs in the U.S. that require advanced training or certification, but employers say they can’t find qualified workers to fill them.

The companies featured in the 60 Minutes story realized the same thing Nebraska Appleseed believes about people in our state – that people want to work, contribute to an employer, and take pride in a job well done.  But, they might not always have the education or training to be prepared for the job.  Many of those manufacturing companies decided the best way to get skilled employees was to train them themselves.

In Nebraska, we have an opportunity to help adults, both unemployed and working in low-wage jobs, get the training they need to close this skills gap and strengthen our state’s economy at the same time.  Nebraska Appleseed’s new “Nebraska Opportunity Scorecard” highlights areas our state could improve efforts to strengthen working families.

Nebraskans want to go to work and be proud to provide for their families.  Helping our workers develop the skills they need to compete in the modern economy will lead to a better-trained workforce, and in turn, lead to stronger families and a stronger Nebraska.

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