January 22nd, 2014

WATCH: Skills Gap

Our nation’s prosperity depends on staying competitive in the global economy. Standing in the way, however, is a “skills gap”- some 40% of US businesses say they can’t find qualified workers.

Solutions are out there. Businesses in one Chicago suburb have identified broad skills - problem solving, observation, listening comprehension, and facility with numbers - that they say predict success on the job. To gauge these skills, they started giving applicants a test called WorkKeys and convinced the local high schools to give the test too.

But four years later, WorkKeys remains a major stumbling block for most students. ┬áIn trying to understand why, we discovered a second “gap” - between what schools teach and what businesses want - and it’s widest in math.

When you were sitting in high school math class, did you ever ask yourself, “when will I ever use this?” You may have been asking the right question.

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