Report finds growing ‘middle skills’ gap

Article by The News Sun

The largest and fastest-growing segment of Indianas skills gap comes from “middle-skill” jobs, those that require at least a high-school diploma but less than a four-year college degree, said a report released Monday by the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition.

The findings were presented at a news conference by coalition co-chairs Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, and Jessica Fraser from the Indiana Institute of Working Families at Group Dekkos Garrett plant, one of several northeast Indiana manufacturers with firsthand knowledge of the skills gap, The News Sun in Kendallville reported.

The report concludes the skills gap is an adult problem that will require adult solutions.

Fraser noted Indianas unemployment rate is stuck above 8 percent and more than 44 percent of Hoosier between the ages of 18 and 65 have no post-secondary education at all, meaning that more than 1.8 million Hoosier adults currently lack the skills attainment to be competitive in the work force.

Middle-skill jobs account for more than 550,000 job openings in Indiana half of all openings through 2020. That number has increased by almost 63,000 jobs from the number of middle-skill jobs projected from 2006-2016, according to the report. While 54 percent of all jobs in Indiana are classified as middle-skill, only 47 percent of the states workers have the skills and credentials for the job.

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