Quality of life can be improved through implementing effective, adaptable, community-focused, and coordinated education and workforce development systems that produce a well-educated, highly skilled workforce that respond to employers’ needs in a rapidly changing economy.
Employment plays a critical role in the lives of residents, families, and communities. Equally important, it provides the pathway to career-building and allows community members the opportunity to achieve important life goals and for engagement in their community. One key to a vibrant and successful workforce is education and skilled labor certification, which provides social, civic, and personal development in addition to workforce development. As an economy changes and grows, the demand for workers prepared at all educational levels will continue to grow. Therefore, developing skilled workers that match employers’ needs, in a continuously changing and diverse economy, requires strategic investments in education and workforce development programs, which must be coordinated and aligned with the economic development of the community.
Investment in early childhood and later in education helps to ensure a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Providing access to high-quality education and postsecondary certification will expand economic opportunity for individuals and families. Research suggests that individuals with higher levels of education are better able to compete for choice jobs and more likely to obtain positions with better working conditions, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
More educated and skilled workers bring many benefits to the organizations that employ them. Many employees with additional education are better equipped to adapt to new situations, can learn new tasks and skills more easily, and have the capacity to use a wider range of technologies and sophisticated equipment, which provides the opportunity to improve productivity. Furthermore, the advantages of having a highly educated and skilled workforce benefits all, individuals, businesses, the local community, and the economy as a whole.
Education andskilled labor certification is an investment in the future of the state, because workers with higher incomes contribute more through taxes over the course of their lifetimes. Higher incomes are also associated with better educational outcomes for children of the employed, improved mental and physical health outcomes, in addition to many other individual, family, and community advantages.