There are 6.5 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. right now. In addition, many employers across the country report a skills gap for middle-skilled jobs, with an insufficient number of applicants having the qualifications, training, or education needed to fill those roles. Many states have recognized that work-based learning is key for preparing the next generation of the workforce and closing the skills gap. Furthermore, 35 states now require and/or fund work-based learning experiences for K-12 students. Work-based learning provides real-world career learning experiences that will best prepare them for success in the workforce. Additionally, research suggests that a blend of technical, academic, and employable skills best prepare students for fast-growing and high-earning jobs in the future.
Estimates suggest that by 2030, nearly 20% of the workforce will be significantly under-skilled for their jobs. The skills gap is expected to see around 2.4 million vacant jobs this decade. As a result, many people could find themselves being less productive in their work, less satisfied with it, or even out of work altogether.