Washington Must Address Skills Gap To Help North Carolina Residents Get Training, Education for Good-Paying Jobs with Opportunities for Advancement, Says Group
Delegation of Business Leaders from 25 States to Travel to DC December 7-8th
Greensboro NC —North Carolina business owners and Workforce Development Leaders will travel to Washington, D.C. to call on Congress and the incoming Trump Administration to support middle-skill jobs. The fly-in of employers from 25 states and the District of Columbia is being organized by Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU), a national coalition of employers from a range of industries who are working to address our country’s skills gap.
“In North Carolina, small- and medium-sized firms are offering good-paying jobs with opportunities to move up a career ladder. The market incentive is there – yet positions go unfilled because there simply aren’t enough trained and credentialed workers with the right skills. We need dynamic, industry responsive-public policies that close the skills gap,” said Jeff Frederick, Vice President Human Resources of Purolator Advanced Filtration Group. Frederick is also the President of the North Carolina Association of Workforce Development Boards.
Businesses in North Carolina are offering jobs with opportunities to move up the ladder, but these positions need trained or credentialed workers with the right skills. “Middle-skill” jobs require more than a high school degree but not a bachelor’s degree and are a critical part of the state and national economy. According to a National Skills Coalition analysis, just over half of all job openings between 2012 and 2022 will be for middle-skill jobs.
“Small- and medium-sized trucking companies like R&R Transportation are always looking to bring on people with a range of different credentials such as drivers with CDL licenses and dispatchers,” said Karl Robinson, President R&R Transportation and Executive Member Guilford County Workforce Board. “This industry needs professional men and women who operate state-of-the-art vehicles, read and interpret computerized data from on-board systems and interact positively with customers and fellow professionals.”
BLU employers are working with local partners like community colleges, labor unions, and local workforce boards to train and hire community residents for skilled jobs, and want our country’s policymakers to follow suit and invest – aggressively and effectively – in the skills of America’s workers.
During their fly-in, BLU employers will meet with their local Members of Congress and with members of the incoming administration to call for policies that support their efforts including: investing in partnerships between local industry and community colleges (through reauthorization of the Perkins Act); making financial aid more job-driven by extending Pell grants to people who want to complete in-demand short term occupational training programs (through reauthorization of the Higher Education Act); and supporting apprenticeship and upskilling.
“Businesses, community and technical colleges and lawmakers all have a role to play, if we’re going to give students the best chance at a great career in industries like healthcare, construction and manufacturing,” according to Deb Lindner, HR Manager at Precor and also Executive Board Member of the North Carolina Association Workforce Board. “Across North Carolina, local businesses are working with community and technical colleges to get working students’ access to the training programs they need to move into middle-skill jobs. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill should support our efforts.”