Closing the Skills Gap: The Importance of Educating a Diverse Workforce
Anticipated demographic changes in the United States suggest that many communities—and their workforces—will be increasingly minority-based, with Hispanic population growth outpacing other minority groups. Young minorities across the country will be seeking employment in a variety of fields, including in technical fields that require solid knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). AICGS’ project on integrating young minorities into the workforce has focused on the evaluation of education and training systems that exist in the United States, especially regarding the challenges of expanding education and training opportunities to a minority-based workforce. Drawing on comparisons with programs in Germany, AICGS brought a group of workforce, migration, and education experts from the United States and Germany to the Charlotte, North Carolina, region to evaluate the situation on the ground. The project also looked at workforce development examples in the Washington, DC, area, which is home to large international and minority communities.
This Issue Brief discusses the training and integration initiatives underway—in education, enterprise, and NGOs—in the Charlotte and Washington, DC, areas. The authors discuss the progress made, the challenges that remain, and the imperative for building a robust workforce.