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Are school-business partnerships the answer to addressing the skills gap?

New Hampshire businesses, especially manufacturing-based companies like GE Aviation in Hooksett, are coming out to emphasize the state’s labor shortage, according to The Boston Globe. Today’s manufacturing jobs are increasingly technical and require different sets of skills than decades ago. In response, New Hampshire’s schools are working with industry to identify and address the gaps. 

[bctt tweet=”In the next decade, 2 million open manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap.” username=””]

Over the next 10 years, 2 million of the 3.5 million open manufacturing jobs will go unfilled because of the skills gap, according to a report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. Business leaders are bringing it to the forefront:

‘‘The basic consensus at this point is that the shortage of skilled labor is so severe that it’s actually affecting the ability of companies to grow,’’ said Val Zanchuk, a manufacturing executive and chairman of a new statewide effort to bridge the skills gap. ‘‘This is nationwide, and it’s certainly reflected in New Hampshire, as well.’’

‘‘In the past, manufacturers were passive about it,’’ Zanchuk said. ‘‘The hope here is that we can focus the education and training process at different levels throughout the state to prepare the workforce for the particular needs of each industry.’’

More of our schools are partnering with local businesses to help students build the skills they’ll need to thrive in our technology-driven economy. Many schools, like Pittsfield Middle High School, offer extended learning opportunities (ELOs) that offer credit for internships, job shadows, or part-time jobs, where students get real-world experience in fields they enjoy. Other schools across the state are working on building those partnerships for their kids.

To meet workforce demands, some companies–like Hitchiner Manufacturing Company–are considering bringing out-of-state candidates into the state to fill vacancies.

Read the full article here.

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