The New York Times benchmarks US education and finds “the American work force has some of weakest mathematical and problem-solving skills in the developed world.” Look for an update to our Benchmarks for a Better Washington next spring, in the meantime, this editorial has telling data based on math test scores for 15-year-olds in industrialized nations.
Focus on transportation investment, career & college readiness, closing the skills gap
Our priorities for the upcoming legislative session are outlined in our newly released 2014 Policy Agenda. Each year the Roundtable board puts forward a discrete list of policy priorities aimed at making Washington a top 10 state for innovation and quality of life while also ensuring a competitive environment for business. Key among the Roundtable’s priorities for 2014 is enactment of a new statewide transportation investment and revenue package. The Roundtable board met with Governor Jay Inslee last week and has been meeting with legislative leaders throughout the last month to stress the need to pass a transportation package as soon as possible, before the start of the 2014 regular session. In the months ahead, the Roundtable will also focus on efforts to ensure the state provides a quality college and career ready education for every student and to better align the state’s postsecondary system to eliminate Washington’s job skills gap (our 2013 study by Boston Consulting Group revealed an alarming shortage of qualified candidates available to fill tens of thousands of great jobs available in Washington state). Learn more in our 2014 Policy Agenda or follow our efforts on Twitter and Facebook.
America’s Edge and the Association of Washington Business released a new report today, “Ensuring Washington State’s Global Success,” highlighting the skills gap and the struggle that employers have in finding qualified candidates in Washington state. As you’ll read in our 2014 Policy Agenda and our report from Boston Consulting Group, “Great Jobs Within Our Reach,” closing the skills gap is essential to growing the state economy and ensuring workers in Washington are prepared for the great jobs that exist here.