Although unemployment is now lower than it’s been in more than 15 years, 6.7 million Americans remain unemployed and many more are underemployed in low-paying jobs. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are currently 6.3 million job openings, which companies are struggling to find the right talent to fill.
While many of these jobs are low-paying, many are not, which begs the question: What can be done to better align the unemployed or underemployed with employers that offer good jobs? And how can companies help to address their own skills shortages to remain competitive in the future?
One approach that has proven to be successful in recent years consists of targeted partnerships between business and education. To facilitate these, companies typically begin by assessing their human capital needs and job requirements, and then collaborate with schools to produce workers with the needed skills.
A notable example of how this works is the partnership between AT&T and Accenture and Georgia Tech. Both companies have provided one million over the past year to help fund the Online Master of Science in Analytics program. Nelson Baker, Georgia Tech's dean of professional education, told us that this is just one example of the many initiatives such companies have undertaken with the school.
“We actually have decades-old relationships with various companies,” he said. “In fact, Georgia Tech has been involved in business/education partnerships for over 100 years. We were founded in 1885, to work with industry, and that is still a core mission for Georgia Tech.”