Politifact: Bridging the skills gap for workers

Politifact: Bridging  the skills gap for workers
Posted at 6:14 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 19:16:33-04

State and city leaders are trying to bridge what's known as the skills gap as demand grows for more workers.

Politifact at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigates a claim that may be a factor in the skills gap.

High school graduation is just a few weeks away. The number of Milwaukee Public School students moving on to a two or four-year college is critical to the city's and state's economic future.

This is why a recent comment from MATC's President Vicki Martin jumped out.

"Vicki Martin's statement was that part of the problem here is that 50% of high school graduates in Milwaukee don't go on to two-or four-year colleges, they don't get the skills to fill these jobs." said Greg Borowski at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The skills gap is a big issue as employers seek to hire more people or fill job openings. But many people looking for those jobs don't have the skills needed, thus the skills gap.

"That's where you have lots of jobs on one hand that are going unfilled and on the other hand lots of folks who are unemployed and looking for work," said Borowski.

"The gap is that the skills that the folks who are unemployed have don't necessarily match the needs in the work force."

Statewide two-thirds of high school students enrolled in a two or four-year program in 2013-14 school year, compared to half of MPS.

But the Journal Sentinel's Politfact's team found the gap is much larger when you look at the number of MPS students who don't finish high school.

"When you factor that in, the number that go onto college is really more like 30%. So the gap is and the problem is even larger than she described. So we rated her claim mostly true."