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Where are the Middle Skill Workers?

The Wall Street Journal notes a paradox of the U.S. economy: “Millions of Americans are seeking work, but companies say they just can’t find qualified workers to hire.”

A new Harvard Business School report “challenges employers to stop grumbling and instead develop plans to develop and hire a workforce that can meet the needs of 21st-century corporations.”

“Among the recommendations: Develop a deep understanding of future staffing needs and write job descriptions based on core skills; provide educators with clear statements of the skills those jobs will require; partner with schools to develop and vet curricula and share data; create in-depth internship, apprenticeship and training programs; and collaborate with other employers to standardize job descriptions and build a pipeline of future workers.”

“The authors recommend that companies manage their workforce pipelines like they manage their supply chains. That means investing in workforce planning ‘to identify strategically relevant middle-skill capabilities and build roadmaps for closing potential gaps.’ The report also warns against what experts call ‘credential creep,’ the phenomenon of employers demanding more degrees or experience than a position actually requires.”

Professor Joe Fuller summarizes his research in this video.