Our friends at Revitalization Partners help companies make better decisions about business operations. This blog from their newsletter focuses on the benefits of an educated staff and ways to close the skills gap. At Juniper Capital, we are committed to sharing business advice that helps you achieve business success. We specialize in real estate investments with private money loans in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Share your thoughts on this blog, so we can continue to provide you with quality information for operating your business in the Pacific Northwest:

While political candidates bemoan low minimum wages and one candidate states, “I love poorly educated people,” there are currently over three million jobs that are going begging in the US. Despite all the rhetoric about bringing back the old jobs that required less education, those jobs that either left the US or that were replaced by technology are simply not coming back.

Every month since January 2009, over 20 million Americans have been unemployed or underemployed because they can’t meet open job qualifications. In the manufacturing sector alone, over 500,000 jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find qualified workers.

With so many people out of work, especially those over 40, how can this be? It’s called the Skills Gap. And according to certain economists, “It’s definitely a concern and it should be a concern to anyone who cares about the future of US workers.”

Just as the shift from an agrarian society to an industrial society changed the education requirements for employment, the shift to an Information Age has affected the workforce in several ways. US Workers are being forced to compete in a global job market and experts state that job training programs in the US pale beside programs in Europe and Asia. This has created a situation in which workers who perform tasks that are easily automated are being forced to find work which involves tasks that are not easily automated. Often, workers are simply replaced by computers that can do their jobs faster and more effectively.

Jobs traditionally associated with the middle class (assembly line workers, data processors, foremen and supervisors) are beginning to disappear, either through outsourcing or automation. Individuals who lose their jobs must either move up, joining a group of “knowledge workers” (engineers, doctors, attorneys, teachers, consultants), or settle for low-skill, low-wage service jobs.

However, adults with less formal education after high school or less job-relevant skills have been hit especially hard since the official end of the Great Recession. Older job seekers who have limited basic skills and literacy are likely to need further education and training in order to return to work, in part because employers are demanding more education and skills from workers than they did in the past. Employer demand for workers with more advanced computer and technology skills may also be a significant barrier to an older job seeker.

Adults seeking education and training must choose from thousands of degree and certificate programs offered by colleges or universities, technical or vocational schools, community organizations, or employer associations. Not surprisingly, these options vary widely in character, quality, and cost.

So what is the answer? Education across all levels of our society that addresses the skills gap problem, solves the growing needs of employers for educated workers and does this in an affordable way.

Why is a corporate restructuring and re-engineering firm like Revitalization Partners writing about adult education? Because any successful restructuring begins and ends with the people that make up the organization. From management to professionals to support staff, the success of a company is determined by the quality of its employees, and the better the collective employees’ education, the greater the chance for success. While some politicians may talk about loving poorly educated people, it would be more productive to focus on programs for education, enabling them to fully participate in our rapidly changing society.

Revitalization Partners is a Pacific Northwest business advisory and restructuring management firm with a track record of achieving the best possible outcomes for clients. They specialize in improving the operational and financial results of companies and providing hands-on expertise in virtually every circumstance, with a focus on small and mid-market organizations. Contact Revitalization Partners if you want the best resolution in the fastest time with the highest possible return.

Revitalization Partners… when a company is worth saving.