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During the period 1990 to 2010, U.S. job growth occurred primarily in the high-skilled and low-skilled sectors. Yet, one-third of projected job growth for the period 2010-2020 will require middle-skilled workers -- who will earn strong middle-class wages and salaries -- important to both the production and consumption components of our economy. These jobs typically require significant training, often requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a baccalaureate degree. In the Gulf of Mexico, middle skilled workers play key roles in maintaining oil system safety, completing the numerous environmental restoration projects needed along the Gulf coast, and as workers in an integrated and resilient public health system. Educational pathways that lead to middle skilled jobs in these areas include: apprenticeship programs offered by schools, unions, and employers; high school career and technical education programs; community college courses, certificates, and associate degrees; and employer provided training.

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs is the summary of a workshop held on June 9-10, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. This workshop convened 40 thought leaders from the Gulf region's education, employer, and policymaking communities to facilitate a discussion of the current state of education and training pathways for preparing the region's middle-skilled workforce in both the short- and long-term and to identify perceived needs and potential opportunities that might be addressed by the GRP. Workshop participants discussed a variety of opportunities around building capacity in the region's middle-skilled workforce, including the need for competency-based education and training approaches and stronger partnerships among the region's employers and institutions of higher education.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2014. Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/18980.

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Publication Info

47 pages | 8.5 x 11 | 

ISBNs: 
  • Paperback:  978-0-309-31427-5
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-31430-5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/18980

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