Washington employers are anticipating an historic number of job openings in the coming years, according to our first Washington Kids For Washington Jobs report. An estimated 740,000 job openings will be available in our state over just the next five years and state job growth with nearly triple the national average.
One employer hoping to hire qualified Washington graduates is Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash. PNNL, one of 17 Department of Energy National Laboratories, expects to hire many workers in the coming years, with growth in the fields such as chemistry, data analytics and cyber security.
“The types of problems we’re expected to work on are really the most challenging facing the country,” said Dr. Steven Ashby, Laboratory Director. “You need a fair amount of preparation – well beyond high school, going in to get the college degree, so that you can be an integral part of the team and actually create solutions that make a difference for our fellow citizens.”
Washington employers, like PNNL, are creating exciting job opportunities that offer excellent wages and strong potential for upward mobility. These opportunities should be open to Washington kids whenever possible. That will only happen if we all work together to ensure more of our Washington students go on to attain the postsecondary credentials required for success. The Washington Roundtable has set an ambitious goal: By 2030, 70 percent of Washington students will earn a postsecondary credential by the age of 26.
Today, only 31 percent of Washington high school students go on to earn a postsecondary credential. Raising that to 70 percent will reap significant benefits for our kids who, with a credential in hand, will each earn nearly $1 million more in their lifetime. It will have the added benefits of reducing unemployment and cutting poverty.