Bridging the STEM skills gap: Employer/educator collaboration in New York

Part one of an ongoing series based on our recent PPI report: Bridging the STEM skills gap:

Employer/educator collaboration in New York

The term new collar was popularized, if not invented, by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty to refer to the technology “jobs of the future … that can be done without a four-year college degree.” This post launches a blog series that will look at the challenges our state’s employers face in hiring skilled “new collar” workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and showcase how some are addressing those challenges through innovative partnerships with education programs and institutions.

As the basis for this project, in December 2016 and January 2017 The Public Policy Institute of New York State conducted a survey of more than 100 executives familiar with their company’s workforce development needs and practices, followed by interviews with STEM thought leaders. Our goal was to gather data on employer skills needs in order to inform the decision-making of businesses and policymakers as they develop strategies to strengthen New York’s workforce.

Much has changed in New York’s economy over the past decade—recession, recovery, demographic and technological shifts, changes in education and tax policies—but The Public Policy Institute’s employer surveys show that talent shortages are an ongoing problem.

stem--quality-workforce
Sources: PPI Manufacturing Report Survey (2010); PPI Workforce Development Survey (2014)

We would like to thank all the executives who have participated in these surveys over the years, whether on the record or anonymously, for their valuable insights. Which regions of the state are experiencing the most difficulty filling jobs? Which STEM jobs are projected to have shortages over the coming decade? What skills and credentials are hardest to find? What are the top reasons cited by employers for investing in education programs?  What steps should New York’s policymakers take to address the skills gap? Join me over the coming weeks as we explore these important questions facing New York’s economy.

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