In Order ‘To Meet The In-Demand New-Collar Jobs That Require In-Demand Skills,’ New Ohio Workforce Accelerator Will Provide High-Tech Training To Help Fill 700,000 Tech Positions That Are ‘Unfilled’ Nationally
(YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO) - As the expanding Digital Economy increases demand for highly skilled Technology Workers, IBM and Youngstown State University are partnering to fill the growing skills gap.
IBM and university officials have announced the launch of the YSU IT Workforce Accelerator, which will provide Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Apprenticeship Enablement so local companies can train and prepare students and local workforce for high-tech jobs.
Tim Wood, Ohio Senior State Executive for IBM, said 700,000 technical positions are unfilled nationally: “Closing the skill gaps is critical for moving not only as an individual challenge, but it’s becoming a national imperative.”
Wood, an Ohio native, said the state holds a special place in his heart, and that he is aware of the region’s workforce and job loss with the closure of the former General Motors Lordstown Complex. Wood said he believes the timing is right for this project that he’s proud to bring to his home state. Experts from the California-based Institute for the Future predict 85% of jobs in 2030 have not yet been invented, he said.
“This further emphasizes the importance of continual learning and the skill-building that’s required,” Wood said. “This is why we’re collaborating with YSU on this important IT Accelerator initiative.”
Apprenticeship opportunities will be available for students in degree and non-degree education tracks, as well as the local workforce, said Jennifer Oddo, New Collar Apprenticeship Program Manager: “This program will bring access and opportunities to those who may not have educational pathways into IT careers.”
While IBM will provide the education and enablement support, YSU will provide administrative support to employers looking to hire Apprentices.
YSU is formulating partnerships with area businesses and employers to implement and support Apprenticeship Programs and job opportunities. Those business partners will be announced at a later date. Any company interested in taking part, or candidates interested in the program can to go to YSU.edu/workforce-accelerator for information and to sign up for announcements.
Oddo, who works in Cleveland, said the IBM-designed initiative has two key components: Providing Pre-Apprenticeship Training and advocacy, and education and support to member companies to train and hire local workforce and students.
“It will bring local employers and workforce ecosystems and help the local talent become work-ready, and create workforce innovation to build in-demand skills in and beyond traditional degree programs,” she said.
Wood explained that industries such as health care and agriculture are struggling, and six million industry-related jobs go unfilled due to a lack of skilled Workers: “The challenge is ‘bigger than any one company can handle.’ And we believe to address skill gap, both public and private sectors ‘need to work together for innovative ways to provide academic, technical and professional skills to compete in the economy.’”
In its “Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio,” Team NEO reports the largest misalignment for jobs is for Computer and IT workers.
There is far greater employer demand in this occupational field than supply of matching credentials, despite computer and IT jobs offering a median annual salary of $69,077.
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