One of the important issues of any business community member is having a professional, strong pool of potential personnel. Here in Maine, that pool clearly isn’t huge enough. A new short via the commercial enterprise-leader group ReadyNation highlighted that, by 2025, Maine will need an additional 158,000 correctly skilled and credentialed people to fill our nation’s job openings. To fill those openings with qualified employees, 60 percent of Maine adults will want to keep a postsecondary credential of value. The problem is that our cutting-edge price is forty-six percent, barely below the national common of forty-eight percent. And, as our population ages, the hassle is set to get plenty worse — except we act.
Just as frightening, Maine’s operating-age population is shrinking. Maine has the best median age of any state inside us of 44.3, a figure 6.5 years older than the nationwide common. A growing old populace means that activity openings are created at a quicker charge — faster than we presently have the capacity to fill them — thereby developing our “skills hole.
Thankfully, there’s a path forward.
Being a small enterprise proprietor for over 35 years (and counting) has taught me plenty. I’ve realized that strolling a hit eating place commercial enterprise in today’s global requires additional skills outside of the technical talents of cooking, ready, or bartending. For groups like mine to have the skilled personnel they need and close the talents hole, we should put money into fine profession-technical training (CTE) and postsecondary applications to do the exceptional possible process of presenting these skills talents.
One such CTE application is Bridge Academy Maine, and I’m proud to be its government director. Bridge Academy Maine is designed to prepare college students for achievement in careers and/or university after high school commencement. The partnership among our classroom teachers, CTE instructors, and university professors highlights the quality of our training gadget in Maine. Bridge Academy students come from all varieties of backgrounds and feature all sorts of
long-time-period dreams. The software permits them to earn college credit scores simultaneously in high faculty. Just as important connects their rigorous instructional paintings with real-world studies that impart deeper mastering competencies like collaboration and effective conversation — the very talents craved by employers throughout industries.
A new take look from the U.S. Department of Education backs up the significance of programs like these. The observe discovered that scholars enrolled in CTE courses in high school had better median profits eight years out while their non-CTE friends. CTE participants have better high college graduation charges and better postsecondary enrollment prices compared to friends who do now not take part in CTE.
High-pleasant CTE programs can achieve this plenty for students, from helping to put together them for college, saving them cash by permitting them to start postsecondary training with significant credit, and giving them the foundational abilities they’ll want to achieve success current place of work.
Maine’s career and technical facilities, just like the Bridge Academy Maine application, are revolutionary examples of better matching students’ hobbies and needs with Maine offices. These programs entice and inspire many college students who might not otherwise see their potential for achievement in a wide kind of career, together with the ones who are in maximum demand.
Investments in excellent secondary and postsecondary alternatives help ensure that our students build the talents they need these days to guide our companies the following day.
Overcoming Maine’s talents gap and ensuring we’ve got the personnel we need inside the destiny begins with more admission to and affordability of quality postsecondary credentials.
Brian Langley, government director of Bridge Academy Maine, is a former country senator, eating place owner, and a member of the enterprise-leader organization ReadyNation.