Report Says Education is Key to State's Economy

May 26, 2011

The recession has highlighted the need for a more educated workforce. That's according to "The State of the North Carolina Workforce 2011-2020" report. Kenneth Poole is CEO and President of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness.

Kenneth Poole: "We need to work with our higher education institutions and our academic institutions to ensure that they offer the curriculum that reflects the needs of business and industry in this environment, particularly in the importance of the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines, which are very challenging to get workers and students to go into."

The report finds workers who lack the skills needed to adapt are growing in number. Even skilled workers who lost jobs during the recession may find their knowledge has become obsolete due to rapidly-developing industries. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dale Carroll says the report highlights the need for a more educated workforce. 

Dale Carroll: "We know that a lot of the structural change that was already affecting our state accelerated during the Great Recession. We know that companies were already relying more on technology, innovation, a higher skilled worker. These are things that are reinforced in the study."

Roger Shackleford is Executive Director of the North Carolina Division of Workforce Development. That group put out the report along with the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Roger Shackleford: "The likelihood of our citizens having the ability to get good jobs, the likelihood of our economy continuing to grow hinge in large part on how we tackle educational issues and how we invest in education."