A strong workforce depends on quality training and education at all stages of life.
A smart economy requires nimble education and training institutions focused on the evolving skills needs of the private sector. The region needs top-notch K-12, vocational, and university education options to serve everyone, at all ages. An inclusive region must also narrow the digital literacy gap and make the internet accessible for all.
While Greater Washington is the most educated metropolitan area in the country according to a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau community survey, many children and adults are left behind. Governments, universities, vocational training institutions, and the private sector must work together to match the region’s training and education options with long-term skills needs. In other U.S. cities such as Pittsburgh and Columbus, recent experience proves that local university consortia and community development organizations form core pillars of support for revitalized high-tech industry.
The Board of Trade will work with partners and government officials to support policies that help make higher education more accessible for more people, improve college retention rates, and increase awareness of academic and career support groups.
Issues that needed to be addressed include but are not limited to:
- Consider how to close the shortage of workers in cyber security and information technology services (e.g. instill computer science curriculum earlier in education)
- Address whether higher education institutions are providing graduates with the necessary technical and non-technical skills to succeed in the workplace.