Massachusetts' Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st Century Economy

Massachusetts' Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st Century Economy

The National Skills Coalition, in partnership with SkillWorks and the Workforce Solutions Group, has issued a report which suggests that by 2016 Massachusetts will have more than 396,000 "middle-skill" job openings — jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. Issued as part of the Skills2Compete campaign, which is funded by the Ford, Joyce, Kellogg, Mott, and Annie E. Casey foundations, the report, Massachusetts' Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st Century Economy (33 pages, PDF), found that middle-skill jobs, including new and replacement jobs, will comprise 38 percent of all job openings in the state between 2006 and 2016. To date, however, preparation for middle-skill jobs has not kept up with demand. Indeed, roughly 45 percent of all jobs in the state are classified as middle-skill, while only 32 percent of Massachusetts workers have the credentials to fill them. According to the report, Massachusetts will need to continue to invest in proper training and education for its workforce to make sure the state has enough people to fill the growing volume of middle-skill jobs.