The Alaskan Skills Gap
The level of educational attainment is not keeping up with the number of skilled workers needed.
Each year, eight thousand Alaskan students graduate from high school. Several thousand students leave school without a diploma. Additionally, of the students who go on to college, one in five stop attending by nineteen-years-old.
These statistics indicate that students are leaving high school without a clear idea of what they want to do next, or they do not see a connection between school and their future. This helps explain why Alaska ranks fifth in the nation for teens not in school and not working.
The number of Americans with a high school degree or less is predicted to increase and the number of jobs requiring postsecondary education is on the rise.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, there will be 5.9 million more high school dropouts in 2020 than jobs available for workers with that level of education. As a result, many occupations are likely to see shortages including nutritionists, welders, nurses aides, computer specialists, and engineers.
Junior Achievement: A Solution to the Workforce Skills Gap
Junior Achievement (JA) is uniquely positioned to serve as a partner in this endeavor by equipping students with the skills they need to be ready--for college and for a career.
JA programs help bridge the gap between what students are learning in the classroom and the application of this knowledge to the real world.
More than nine out of ten teachers and volunteers (91 percent) agree or strongly agree that JA programs connect what is learned in the classroom to the outside world.
JA answers with cutting-edge skill-building that enables young people to find meaningful, productive careers.
JA alumni are 25 percent less likely to be unemployed than non-alumni.
JA alumni earn 50 percent more than non-alumni.
Focus on Educational Attainment
JA reinforces the value of education and the importance of educational attainment.
In longitudinal studies, JA students were significantly more likely than their peers to believe they would graduate from high school and graduate from college.
Eight out of ten students report that JA programs helped reinforce the importance of staying in school.
By Junior Achievement Alaska Staff
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