Workforce Development Roundup: Utah’s bold goal, California invests in community college, Hawaii’s growing tech jobs

The Chairman’s Initiative of South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is leveraging the region’s best thinking to bridge the gap between prospective workers and employers in the West. Learn more about the Initiative and its upcoming events. In addition to hosting a series of workshops and webinars, WGA provides periodic updates on workforce development in western states.

The demand for a skilled, job-ready workforce is growing across the country. Employers’ needs are rapidly evolving, and by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the United States will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school, according to a Georgetown University study. By comparison, in 1973, workers with postsecondary education held only 28 percent of U.S. jobs.   

Here's how western states are attempting to enhance career opportunities:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced a goal to create 25,000 jobs in rural communities across the state, and challenged rural leaders to get more involved in the effort.

Colorado recently passed a law requiring that high school students be told about skilled labor and military careers, in addition to four-year college degrees.

California launched a $200 million program to promote community college and vocational education options in the state.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is aiming to connect more students with career-ready education through apprenticeships and technical training programs saying “We have to stop telling our kids that a four-year degree is the only path to success.” 

The Nevada Economic Development Conference in September will focus on ways to boost the state’s economy by investing in current industries and diversifying into new ones.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez touted the success of the state’s Job Training Incentive Program, which has created more than 2,000 jobs in 2017.

Hawaii’s Gov. David Ige is working to increase government IT capacity and attract and retain workers with the goal of creating 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs paying at least $80,000 by 2030.

For more information and updates on the Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative, click here.  Get the latest news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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