Representatives from BATC-Housing First Minnesota were on hand this morning as Kyle Hartung of Boston-based Jobs for the Future presented “The Future Can’t Wait: The Imperative of Industry/Education Partnerships to Meet the Needs of the Future Workforce.”
Hartung commented that the audience for the event, which was well over 100 and organized by the Center for the American Experiment, was one of the most diverse he has experienced, representing industry, organizations, policy makers and educators.
Hartung stressed the need for a work-based learning approach to building the talent pipeline, which fits closely with BATC-Housing First Minnesota’s efforts on Project Build Minnesota. Some key facts Hartung shared:
There are 270,000 high school students in Minnesota
The workforce shortage will reach 300,000 within just a few years
This will result in a slowdown of economic activity for Minnesota, $33 billion in unrealized GDP and $12 billion in lost annual personal income. In short, we clearly have a workforce crisis before us.
BATC-Housing First Minnesota was invited to participate in a special work group following Hartung’s remarks. The key takeaway is that greater conversation must occur between all sectors and the silos must come down if we are to solve this labor shortage. We have already begun those conversations through our Education and Workforce Development Committee and our leadership in Project Build Minnesota.
More work is being done by the Center for the American Experiment, which is sharing research and messaging around the concept that you can have a very fulfilling and productive life and do not need a four-year degree to achieve this. The message dovetails precisely with that of Project Build Minnesota, which highlights on our website technical training, two-year opportunities and four-year degrees. Visit www.projectbuildmn.com to see what your Association has been integral in building.
We will continue to dedicate substantial attention to workforce development through our committee, Project Build Minnesota and outreach efforts. If you would like to help our efforts, please contact Tom Gavaras at firstname.lastname@example.org.