Summary: With only one in five Pennsylvania employers rating the readiness of the current labor force as excellent or good, it is clear that Pennsylvania is facing a serious workforce skills gap.
The existence of this gap makes sense in light of the fact that the majority of Pennsylvania 8th graders are not proficient in reading, math, and science. Moreover, only 45 percent of our public school students meet all of the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks. The lack of college and career-readiness will be costly for students, businesses, and our entire state– reflected in costly remedial education, lowered lifetime earnings, and diminished tax receipts.
To reverse its skills-gap troubles, Pennsylvania must invest greater long term funding through its fair education funding formula. Greater investments will give all Pennsylvania students, regardless of their zip code, the opportunity to receive a quality education making them ready for success in the twenty-first-century workplace.
The bottom line: The future of Pennsylvania’s economy depends largely on the caliber of our workforce. If we expect to compete and succeed in the global marketplace, we must act now to ensure our employers have the skilled workforce we need.